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know thy neighbor, or some shit


I’ve never been the social type able to approach Joe blow and strike up anything remotely resembling a conversation. My words with strangers are limited to a hey, or if I’m feeling talkative, perhaps a "how’s it going" or something else three words or less. I’m pretty sure that’s fine with most people or at least that’s all I want from them. It’s pathetic I know but somehow I feel put off by people in general and would rather avoid them than pretend to be interested. This is a sad way to exist and I’m embarrassed at the way I view people because really I do like the idea of being outgoing and willing to listen to random facts even if they are useless random facts. It’s not that I think I’m better than other people but I just have a hard time connecting. I’m sure that makes me a social outcast or just an asshole.

This isn’t limited to strangers either as I don’t even know most of my neighbors. I don’t know how it is with most people but I imagine normal people know several others on their block or surrounding neighborhood, maybe that’s not the case. Thinking back at the places I’ve lived as an adult I don’t think I ever knew more than a couple people on my block and even they probably introduced themselves to me. Just a couple days ago I noticed a lady right across the street from me is a member of a business group I meet with every week and I didn’t even recognize her all those months. I probably would have never even noticed at all were it not for another member of this group telling me "Jane” lived on my street.  I still haven’t said anything to her because I don’t feel like talking about what a coincidence it is.

 

The guy across the street from me seems quiet and I never see him outside chatting it up with the neighbors. I wonder if he doesn’t have the time or perhaps he’s just shy. Or maybe he doesn’t want to be bothered. He reminds me of a childhood friend, kind of nerdy but probably funny in a dark humor kind of way. I wonder how he would respond if I decided to go up to him and introduce myself. His wife is Asian so perhaps I could break the ice with an Asian joke.

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