Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This weekend I think my neighbor died.

When we first moved in, our neighbor was pretty stand-out-ish, because he had this wild mullet. Especially for a man his age. I thought people grew out of those things. He also had intense blue eyes, but wore obvious color contacts that made his eyes seem un-naturally blue. We grew to understand he was a nascar fan, which is sort of odd in this neighborhood of retired grey hairs.

It was fairly obvious he had previous problems with his heart. He had a zipper scar that emerged from his muscle-tee. We have lived here four months, and have had meager interactions. He was a hardworking man, who even though he had retired helped his buddy out in construction. He was often popping his head over the fence to see what we were working on.

He did that just yesterday afternoon in fact.

He was also always working on something. He seemed like a nice enough man. And now we think he is dead.

My husband and I have become accustom to hearing fire engines come down our street. There are a lot of elderly couples in our immediate area. This is the type of neighborhood where nothing has probably changed for 20 years. These are the types of houses that no one moves from, and the only time you can buy one is when someone dies. It must have been alarming for them when we moved in and immediately starting ripping everything in sight out.

Somehow when you have been through a lot of tragedy, you just intrinsically know the sound of a fire engine. Even when the siren isn't blaring, the engine sound is so distinct. Somehow that sound is just etched in your brain.

So last night around 9:45 we noted a truck driving down our road. A fire-truck. This is something that actually happens about one or two times a month it seems. About 20 minutes later when I didn't hear the truck leave, I went out to investigate. I went to look out the front window and see if there were any neighbors outside. None of them were outside, but I could see fire-trucks lights reflecting off of the houses. This was close. But I still didn't see any neighbors out.

I conferred with my husband for about 5 minutes about how weird it was that none of the neighbors were out, with each of their houses were lit up like Christmas tree's. It has been about 25 minutes by that time, and the truck was still there.

I walked to the edge of our driveway, and I could see the siren lights bouncing off objects, but not the truck itself. But I could see that it was just right around the corner. We live second from the end of a block. I cross our street and look around the corner, and see they are parked right in front of our neighbors' house. We face one street and they face another. Sort of like an L. I run back into the house to tell my husband.

Trying to be discrete my husband crosses the street with me again, and there is an ambulance which has arrived at the house. It just showed up without sirens. By the time they all leave it has been over 45 minutes. They leave like they arrived, without sirens.

Now part of me wants to say that I am over-reacting. But my head says those all are really bad signs. And now I am officially in nosy neighbor mode. Everyday I have been listening to hear his voice or his whistle as he calls for his dogs. Or hear him working on something. It has been quiet.

The only neighbors I know... don't really know them. Even though they all have lived here for several decades. So all I can do is hope I am wrong.


  1. Any updates on the neighbour? Did he really kick the bucket?

  2. He actually lived! I was going to make an update entry about it, but since you ask I will just put it here.

    My husband went over yesterday because it still had been very quiet over there. Unusual. We saw Mr. Mullet's wife in the garage with another older woman. We thought the worst.

    So my husband went over and said we has seen the ambulance, and if there was anything we would do as neighbors to let us know.

    Mr. Mullet neighbor's wife said that he had hit his head, and because of his heart problems they took him in. Maybe because he wasn't dying there were no sirens?

    Apparently we were not the only neighbors who thought something horrible had happened. Mr Mullet neighbors wife said she had gotten calls from others in the neighborhood.

    Even though we don't know them well - or for long, we are glad he is okay.