I actually wrote a lot of this post last summer around the same time I wrote a poem about Spooky. I’m posting it now because Spooky and Swag seem to have moved away and part of me is a little sad because they were delightful.
We have this neighbor who lives two doors down. We like to call him Spooky. We call him that because one time Spooky and his lady were walking past our house when Josh was mowing the lawn and he proclaimed, “Man, Is that your house? That house is spooky!”
Spooky likes to stand a few feet away from his skinny front porch smoking cigarettes. Spooky’s not allowed to smoke in the house, we know this because his landlord sometimes joins the conversation when Josh chats up our neighbor Bill. Spooky is about 6 foot tall and usually wears white shorts that hit mid-thigh with faint plaid lines, and a white tank top. Spooky’s lady love usually stays on the plastic picnic table chair on their porch. She’s extremely pregnant now, her stomach extending beyond the hem of her not quite maternity tank tops. She has long blond hair that reaches to her mid back even when up in a ponytail.
Every day Spooky and his paramour leisurely walk past our house to another house two doors down on the other side. It’s usually once in the morning and a second trip in the evening, but some days they are back and forth all day long. They are usually going to visit their friend who we call Swag, short for swagger. Swag typically wears has on athletic shorts, a skinny tank top, and his dark black dreads stick out from below his red backwards baseball cap. He walks at great speed with a certain bounce to his step that could only be described as swagger, thus his nickname.
Josh was outside one time when Spooky went to visit Swag. Swag had mowed approximately half of his backyard prairie; one half of the lawn shorn neatly the other had grass mid-thigh high. Spooky came by asking,
“You do this, man?”
“Yeah, man” responded Swag, as they exchanged an excited high-five.
I have been thinking about friendship recently. I have been thinking about how it’s hard to make friends as adults, and how weird it is to organize events with technology. But, perhaps I am overcomplicating things. Perhaps Spooky has it right, that friendship is merely taking the time to be present and sharing the joy even when the job is half done.