El amor es ciego, pero los vecinos no.
(Love is blind, but the neighbors aren’t.)
Sometimes I wonder what our neighbors must think of us. What they make of the cast of characters that shuffle in and out of our lives. The way strange cars idle in our driveway.
What do they think when they glimpse my husband and I kissing a shared partner on the back porch under the moonlight?
What do they make of the raucous laughter of a crowded hot tub at one of our parties? Or spin the bottle with no bottle?
The cacophony of love, affection, and connection that bursts from every inch of our lives.
Our yard is tiny; so is theirs. In the suburban inner ring, the houses are practically stacked on top of one another.
And yet, they smile and wave at us whenever they see us. My husband chats with our neighbor about the tomatoes they’re both planting every spring. Her husband compliments me on my lawn mowing skills when he sees me tending the grass.
Their children don’t run away from us like we’re monsters. Instead, the youngest tells me how much she likes my high heels as I’m wrangling trash out onto the curb. And when she tells me this, she has that wide-eyed look that one would give a Real Life Barbie.
I think my neighbors’ own marriage is closed, but I’m not so sure. Other people float in and out of their lives, too. Some are there a lot. And some of those connections seem so deep, so warm.
But it’s tough to discern how much is a function of friendship, of blood kinship. And how much of it could very well be a function of their own passions.
I’m curious of course, but I never ask. What business is it of mine how they live their lives?
At this point, I’m sure they’ve seen evidence of our unconventional love lives. Put the odd-shaped pieces together.
They know we’re libertines. And yet they’ve always greeted us with kindness.
Part of me hopes we are cut from the same cloth. But another part of me doesn’t. Because that would make their acceptance even more meaningful.