Dear Neighbor Across the Street,
I’m grateful for the fall weather, because with it you busted out your shirt wardrobe. We worried over the summer that you didn’t have any shirts. We considered buying you some when the weather changed, but we can see that you have appropriate attire, so we’re glad.
Alright. I’ll be honest, I ignored you the other day when I drove by and you gesticulated wildly at me. I couldn’t ignore you, however, when you ran, literally ran, to meet me in my driveway before I got out of my car. I was mad I didn’t have a garage to hide in, but alas, I couldn’t hide out in the open in my driveway.
And then the incredible story you told – well, I actually was glad I didn’t hide.
Yes, I saw you posting flyers. No, I wasn’t interested in learning more about the lost dogs, at least not until you mentioned putting them on my back porch. At that point you had my attention.
Yes, I listened to your lengthy story about how you found the lost dogs and couldn’t house them in your yard because it was too small or in the other neighbor’s yard because he has a big dog that would scare the lost dogs, which apparently are small. I listened as you told me it was just natural to put them in my back yard. I listened as you told me how you went through my gate and discovered that my yard was bigger than you realized it was and that we had a large back porch. I listened to your suggestions of how we should use the space on our porch. I listened as you told me that you appropriated items from my driveway and backyard to construct a barricade in front of my porch steps so the dogs couldn’t escape and get lost again. I listened as you told me you found a dish in my backyard and filled it with water from the spigot on the side of my house. I listened as you suggested I get to know the dogs and feed them because you hadn’t had a chance to feed them. I listened as you suggested I put my phone number on the flyers you put up, since the dogs were in my yard anyway. I listened to your request for the cinder blocks in my backyard that you assumed we weren’t using. I listened to all that and more.
And the entire time you talked I kept thinking, You can talk all day about reasons why your decision to put these lost dogs in my backyard makes perfect sense, but I will never believe you. And furthermore, if I did any one of the things you mentioned, beginning with trespassing on your property, I might get shot, at the very least arrested. Your privilege is amazing, sir. Amazing.
And here I sit, still astounded not only by your privilege, but by your privilege in combination with your good heart. You mean well. You’re a nice neighbor. You care about animals. You’re helpful. You’re a treasure trove of neighborhood information.
So for my part, I’ll not try to hide when I see you coming; and for your part, please stay out of my backyard.