I have decided it would be fun (and possibly ill-advised if not downright dangerous) to write every so often about my neighborhood. Like every neighborhood, here on (long and difficult to spell Native American name) Street, there are a wide variety of personalities and a good amount of lore and legend. It has certainly kept me entertained for the last nine years. Of course, I won't be mentioning names or addresses. And some of this must be reserved for Bev (she will know which ones belong to her).
First, character names and categories: #1: Crazies: Crazy Man at the End of the Street, Crazy Man with the Yard, Crazy Drunk Mother (that's NOT me), Crazy Retired Lady; #2: Meanies: Mean Old Lady with Nice Old Husband, Mean Old Man and His Mean Younger Sister and Their Mean Old Parents; #3 Eccentrics and Miscellany: No Visible Means of Support (I probably won't write about them for various reasons), the Realtor, Hot Tub Guy and His Dad, Hot Rod Guy; #4 Widows and Widowers: There are five that I can think of; I won't write about them either. #5 Coolies: the Gardener, the Landscape Architect, the Cute Young Couple With No Kids, the Horse Lady, the Funny Couple With Kids, the Gay Guys I, the Gay Guys II. There are many others who fit in no category.
Second, the setting: imagine a three-street microcosm of Peyton Place and you get the idea. Well, sort of. It's actually not that interesting but there are eerie similarities. Tree-lined streets, homes built in the 40's, 50's and 60's, mostly Capes. Lots of kids and dogs and cats and trees and birds and wild turkeys and squirrels and chipmunks. A little slice of heaven hiding an even tinier piece of hell (like the proverbial razor blade in the apple at Halloween).
My first story is actually about two kids who used to live in the neighborhood -- until they drowned in the river at the end of the street in the late 50's or early 60's. One was a little boy (whose exact age I have never been able to ascertain) who lived in my house. The other was a little girl who lived in the house across the street (now occupied by Funny Couple With Kids). There are older adults in this neighborhood who remember that day because either they or their children were invited out to play that day by the two children who drowned. Funny Couple with Kids were pregnant at the same time as me and that's when we found out about this story. We made a pact to teach our kids to swim at a very early age, although in this case it wouldn't have mattered. It seems they were playing on the ice and fell through. The current then dragged them under the ice and they couldn't find a way back up. I also found out about this after I had the following experience. I was sleeping and woke up, my heart pounding. I opened my eyes and saw nothing but the usual darkened room but the feeling was like having someone's face very close to my own, peering intently, but not angrily, into my eyes. It happened again about three years later. You all know I believe in ghosts but I've never felt this house was haunted (confirmed by the The Duchess, the traveling psychic of these parts). I've often thought of that little boy, but I think more about his parents, especially his mother. I guess they moved shortly after their son's death. And that's all I know.