Sunday, January 13, 2008

That we aren't neighbourly to our neighbours kinda' hits home in today's ST article. Our front door is locked tight, though it would seriously improve the air flow in our flat if it were kept open. When I come home, I try to make it a point not to share the lift with anyone, and all the more so when I go out. Neighbour makes for the lift, I make for the stairs; anything to avoid making contact with anyone I should at least be familiar with. (Note that I'm speaking for myself 'cos I don't think June is as pathologically paranoid as me).

"A man's home is his castle". It's where we feel safest, freest to indulge in our own excesses without having to keep up appearances for the sake of harmonious living with the rest of humanity. Outside the home, it's all propriety, sobriety, and hard work pretending that I know what's going on and what I'm doing at all times. The social fraud shows through the cracks sometimes, although generally, we're quite good at the cover up game. But at home, I can be the lazy slob that I am, watchin' too much TV, gaming, surfin' and attempting the other 6 deadly sins. Honestly, who's to say I can't?

Being neighbourly literally opens the door to much unwelcome intrusion. The social masks come on again and while I'm grinning and making small talk, my eyeballs are anchored in place, doing their darndnest not to roll, and the little voice in the back of my mind is going, "C'mon! Heroes is starting already!"

It's easier to be friendly with people outside. It's quite legitimate to get rid of them by saying I have to go home. What excuse is there to toss out the neighbour since we're both technically at "home" already? And usually, there isn't just one neighbour, their kids are part of the package too. I don't want to be a meanie, so I avoid situations that may potentially force my hand.

That's not to say I won't help out in the neighbourhood if there is a real need. If there's an emergency or something, then of course making contact is the necessary and humane thing to do. But other than that, I'll be in my room.

So if I died in my own house, would anyone know? Would anyone care? Perhaps not among the neighbours, but hopefully, my friends outside will call the cops before the smell gets too bad.

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