Also, I have spoken to my neighbors more in the first five days at this apartment than I have collectively for the first nine years I lived in
Speaking of, Puppy is enjoying the new home just as much as we are. Because both Brooke and I previously lived in studio apartments, he is a little confused by all the rooms. While we have been running from one end of the apartment to the other carrying boxes, putting things away and setting up furniture, Puppy always seems ten steps behind and constantly surprised to find us in one of the other rooms. He will peek his head in the doorway with a look on his face that says, “How did you get in here?” It’s cute, but also a little worrisome. Let’s just say it’s never good when mommy starts saying things like, “We’re in here, Dumb-dumb!”
Once he is outside, though, he is content as can be. The first day we took him out for a walk he casually walked to the curb and peed on the first tree he saw. Then, as though he hadn’t realized it until just now, he perked up as if to say, “Hold on a second, this is different . . .” What followed was a twenty-minute peeing spree. Trying desperately to mark every inch of his new territory, Puppy walked up and down the block stopping every few feet to go again. The look on his face was one of quiet determination, as though peeing on things was both his burden and his passion, as if to say like some heroic cowboy, “Well someone has to do it so it may as well be me.”
And, in a testament to exactly how friendly and neighborhoody
A homeless guy was sitting on a bench in the middle of the platform. He was surrounded by his possessions, including a shopping cart full of bags and a milk-crate on which he casually rested his leg. He wasn’t repulsive – in fact, if cleaned up properly he could pass for a mature Jackie Chan.
So he is sitting there and as people are walking past him, they wave to him. This is, apparently, The Local Homeless Asian. And everybody knows him. He waves back gently as though he were welcoming them into his Chinese restaurant. I sit down at the other end of the bench and watch the parade of commuters walk past like a receiving line. Finally, one middle aged white guy walks up to The Local Homeless Asian and hands him a dollar. This seems to be a routine, because The Local Homeless Asian is unfazed as he accepts it with a sagacious nod. Then the middle aged white guy starts chatting with him. About all sorts of things like the weather (“unseasonably warm!”), his health (“Do you need that leg brace or did you find it somewhere?”) and the items in his cart (“What have you got there, some boxes?”) This goes on for a few minutes to the point where The Local Homeless Asian actually seems bored. He is politely and tersely answering the guy’s questions, then glancing around like he was at a cocktail party looking for someone to save him. In other words, the people are so polite and neighborly here that even the homeless people, who have no one to talk to but their themselves, are tired of the niceties. It’s truly amazing. I love it here, even if the homeless people don’t.