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It’s late and themen.jpg neighbors that don’t live next door are in their backyard again tonight. At least, the man is, with several of his male friends or employees.

Nathan caught the guy once and talked with him. He’s from overseas, owns another (bigger) house by the beach, and runs some cosmetics import business.

That explains the white vans that come and go and all the unmarked boxes on row after row of metal shelves in the garage in the house where no one really lives. You can catch a glimpse of cardboard from time to time if you happen to be driving by when a van is there, and the garage door is open.

The sickening scent of too much lighter fluid on a grill wafts down the chimney as I type this, and I can hear the men’s voices through the single-paned side window by the fence outside my living room. They always bellow; each voice emerges as a deep, booming sound. It invariably strikes my ears as aggressive though I usually can’t make out the words. When Nate’s not home, it sets my nerves on edge.

We can call it neurosis if you like. I am perfectly willing to admit my emotional response to the stimuli is probably irrational. It’s not like I’m afraid they’ll break down the door and drag me over to show them how to use the damned grill. And maybe other women alone at night, hearing men’s noises and smelling their smells through the window and chimney might feel just fine, or indifferent about it. Maybe they wouldn’t think to themselves,”these are the voices of men, of strangers, in my home tonight,” and crank up classical music on the stereo to drown the intruders beneath the weight of an entire symphony.


I can’t speak for others, so I can’t say for certain.

All I know is that these men are the neighbors that don’t live next door and, as such, their random late night soirées bother me.


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