For months he wouldn’t speak, wouldn’t acknowledge or say a word.
It was confusing for me, how he could live next door and never raise a hand in a friendly, or even unfriendly gesture.
Perhaps my neighbor didn’t see me or hear me, I questioned to my neutral-on-the-issue husband. Shrugging his shoulders, my husband had no answer or ideas.
At first I thought, well I will keep on waving, saying hello in hopes I would turn the tide.
My greetings were met with the same blank stare as all previous attempts, falling short of my expectations. And there they stayed, in the empty space between our houses.
After a while I questioned my gestures, actions. Perhaps instead of creating good will, I was creating negative. Clearly, he wanted to be left alone, wanted not to have to raise his hand, or use his voice.
Between us, between the spaces of our homes came silence, the art of avoidance played out nearly daily. I got in my car, he in his truck on mornings when we left at the same time. And, while our engines of our vehicles spoke, no words came from either of us.
It was unexpected, the interchange of words. Never as I thought it would be. It happened on a brisk cold Saturday morning still in darkness while the moon was transformed by the shadow of the sun. I stood in my driveway facing the western edge of the sky watching the sun’s shadow engulf the image of the moon. Walking from his house, I clearly startled him standing there with my cup of coffee watching the celestial event.
He stopped for a moment, not sure of what to do
“The moon,” I indicated, pointing up into the general direction. Explaining further I added the words eclipse and sun, purposely limiting words for him to process.
Turning, he too looked up and stared at the partially covered shadowed moon.
Looking back at me, he said in a quiet voice, “I didn’t think anyone else got up this early.”
“Every day,” I replied, wondering how he missed our early morning drives from our houses.
“Have a good one,” he offered before climbing in his truck.
“I believe I just did,” I silently added, my hand slightly raised in a friendly wave.
Eclipse/DElarde copyright, 2016