I live in an area crowded with old brownstones from the ’50s, low-rises with big windows, balconies, and narrow streets between them. The illusion of it being an intimate neighbourhood is exceedingly well done.
For all its lack of imposing, stacked up against the major metropolitan downtown that’s only a few kilometres from here, it’s amazing how little I’ve met the people I’ve lived around for a decade. Maybe a third of those in my alleyway have lived here for the decade I have. Of them, I know perhaps five.
For three months now, I’ve wondered where one of them, the neighbour I overlook from my kitchen, was. I assumed some big trip around the world, since more than a few people around here have turned out to be travellers.
But then I saw her Friday for the first time in three months — more than 100 pounds heavier, looking 15 years older, tired, worn, and just about to quit — life, not just her job. My heart went through the floor. Continue reading