The Neighbourhood Project
An illustrated creative writing piece about the experience of a medium density neighbourhood.
Within walls you are on your own, tall. Alone. Catch a glimpse through the gaps, between closed blinds. Surrounded by others, but enclosed by high wall-lines. Empty, full, then hollow and still. Any occupants transient, letterbox ever-crowded. Face-a-facing Hastings street, solemn form sitting at my front. Its back wall reaching, to the apex mine-matching.
Your tenants you cannot keep, mysteriously they move on. I have seen, I am the observer, here in the middle.
To my right is a more unenclosed type. Doors mid-sentence hang and windows stutter. Restless inhabitants in and out, to and fro persons and rooms. Groaning floors, punched walls. Openings shifting.
Separate and connect. Open, close. But beware dogs, you stay out. Outside in the clutter-yard, next to the hungry garage. Next to the digger, rubble all-round. The canines whine, someone yells, an engine starts and reverses from the wide-mouthed motor shed.
Your shed, your dogs, you, are waiting to be fed. I have seen, I am the observer, here in the middle.
The third house sits at my behind. Boundary unmarked, an invisible line from mine. I feel it as a shadow, its outline stretched and similar. Marking the end of the drive, the inhabitants pass loudly beside me. Face weatherboard-lined, bright lights and noise look through your framed eyes. Watchful eyes, are they glaring or just staring?
Your gaze is uncomfortable at my back. I have seen, I am the observer, here in the middle.
Bang, shudder. He hit me that day. Hurling past, one of your inhabitants, on my left side. You and they, sit low, but able to strike out. Red faced, puffing behind overgrown cacti. At odds, resenting residents on both edges. Vehicle-surrounded, façade obscured, it must make it hard to see. By the way, I don't think you are friends with me.
Can you see?
You can see, I can see. We all sit and watch one-another. I am House B, here in the middle.