There’s a young woman who lives in the apartment across from me. I’ve seen her a couple of times, usually at night. I know she has a very young child, because I’ve heard her and a crying child.
Over a week ago, I came home late at night from a road trip and she was sitting outside on the stairs with a friend, having a cigarette. She welcomed me home and told me that while I was gone, a plethora of ads (pizza places, mostly) had accumulated on my door. She had taken them down because it made it obvious that I was out of town. I thanked her and told her that was nice of her, because it was quite sweet.
I went inside thinking about what a nice neighbor she was. Then I had the thought that I don’t really know who she is, and can’t recognize her as my neighbor. I had no idea which of those two girls were my neighbor until she spoke. They could actually BOTH be my neighbors.
It also occurred to me that a while back, I had seen a pregnant woman about the same age in the parking lot. And I’ve seen my neighbor with her mom, carrying baby travel basket thing. So now that I think about it, one of those two was probably the pregnant girl, and now is no longer pregnant, and while she’s sweet enough to take leaflets off my door when I’m not home, I’m such a bad neighbor that I didn’t say “congratulations” because I completely lack the ability to identify whether any of the young women I’ve seen around the parking lot/porch area are the same people.
That makes me feel really bad about the next five weeks, when I’m going out of town for the next five weekends.