I was hunched over the bonnet of my Honda early this morning, taking photos of the frost. The neighbor down the street, a nosey ninety-year-old man named Ed, was walking his Boston terrier, Dixie (I just love that name! Only in the South.).
"Something wrong with your car?" he asked, stopping to look, ever the busybody for his age.
"Hey Mr. Ed," I replied, looking up. "I'm just taking photos."
"No, just taking photos of the frost to share in my journal. The crystalline nature caught my eye."
He looked very uninterested after my reply and continued on his way. He wanted something juicier to gossip about than just some neighbor taking shots of something as mundane as frost on a windshield. I smiled, braving the subfreezing cold to continue snapping shots. Trying to get that perfect exposure of color, contrast, and sharpness.
Mr. Ed was the one who found Joyce screaming that scary Friday night two weeks ago. He said she was standing in her window like some apparition, mumbling about Jesus and God amidst wails of agony. She would only let her preacher in as the police stood in the yard. The screams could be heard several houses down. Losing your mind is a terrible thing. It is nice to know we have such a close knit neighborhood, though. The whole neighborhood mobilized except for me. I sleep like a rock.
I then walked inside and called Joyce, having just thought about her, wondering if she ever got that mess of a kitchen cleaned up after last night's supper.
"Good morning. You up?" I said.
"Hey neighbor!" she replied exuberantly. "You're not going to believe what I had for breakfast."
"What?" I asked, intrigued.
"Leftover turnip greens, pot liquor, and cold cornbread," she said as she laughed. "Isn't that terrible to have such things for breakfast? I should have just fried some eggs."
"Well, I had leftover pizza from yesterday's lunch and a toasted piece of your cornbread you sent home with me for Maggie," I replied. "Me and you live the proverbial bachelor's and bachelorette's life."
Joyce and I just laughed and laughed, enjoying each other's company this morning. It is simple times like these that I enjoy the most. I know conversations and encounters like this are so boring to read, but I so enjoy writing about them and sharing them. These good days are like little jewels in a crown.