There are some phrases I always laugh at—like “you would make a great mother.” I always assume they left a verb or an extra noun off at the end.
It’s late and the 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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Another wonderful writing exercise: The (mildly humorous) argument in 250 words.
Your dog barks incessantly. You feel this is less impactful to your life than spending time with it. It would enhance your life, and appease the neighborhood if you spent more time with it instead.
There are several reasons why you might be dismissive of alternatives. Firstly, I understand you probably have a busy schedule. Furthermore, you might consider me an overly dramatic busybody and, therefore, not a credible source for feedback. While it is true that, after many months of listening to your terrier testing its vocal agility in your backyard, I am perhaps a bit agitated, allow me to assure you: I am still your neighbor. Moreover, I am one of many neighbors surrounding you.
As a fellow homeowner and compassionate human being, I urge you to consider the following: The love of a dog is unconditional, and a source of great comfort. Many consider it a remedy for stress. Studies have shown it can help with everything from blood pressure to depression. Also, no neighbor, to date, has called the city to complain. There have been no letters from the homeowners association. Clearly, these are indicators that you are in a tolerant neighborhood, among people who understand the needs of both you and your dog. Tolerance, however, has its limits.
I strongly believe your dog and this neighborhood can coexist. It is not the enemy; it is a small animal in need of your love and attention. The best situation would be for you to provide it.