Some people, especially those who are far away from their loved ones in these troubling times, may argue that 'out of sight, o ut of mind' is not a fair statement. Others, however, will tell you that whatever (or whomever) they see very often will take up a lot of space in their thoughts… take that next door neighbour for example.
In a necessary attempt to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, local health officials have recommended that we maintain social distancing. That is, avoid human contact as much as possible (stay at least three feet away). These readers will tell you, however, that it gets lonely in quarantine, and with their history of neighbourly love, they just might take 'standing three feet' to mean something completely different.
Nastassia, 31, teacher:
I lived in one of those communities with the houses joined together, so although he was my neighbour, his door was literally just six footsteps from mine. We both had our partners and would just politely talk in passing, but one summer he didn't go to work for a week because he was ill. I was on summer leave so I did the neighbourly thing and checked up on him in the days. That blossomed into chicken soup by the end of the week, then to daytime drives out to the beach while our partners were at work. He took another week off just to spend more time with me and I couldn't help but give up the goods. To this day our partners don't know.
David, 36, real estate agent:
We grew up together and lived in the community all our lives, but we just never saw each other like that. One night, a little after her mother died, she came knocking on my window saying she heard some sounds in the bush behind her yard like someone was there. I told her I was no hero so I wasn't going around there, but she could stay in my house while I called the police to check it out. They didn't find anyone there, but she came back the next night saying she couldn't sleep because she was afraid. Long story short, we are now married with a child and she still wakes me up at night when she can't sleep.
Kelly, 28, nurse:
We were both renting parts of the same house and the water problem was really bad there so we had a black tank in the yard. One morning I went to bathe and there was no water and I peeped out and didn't see anyone so I went to the tank in my towel to catch some water. As I was bending down to hold the bucket I heard, “The Lord is my shepherd, I see what I want,” from behind me. I ran inside and left the bucket and he brought it to the door for me and told me that he only saw my thighs, but he wished he could see more. I walked him out for a good couple months, but another time a big croaking lizard came into my apartment and I needed him to kill it for me, and he asked how much I was willing to pay. He ended up getting more than he bargained for.
Necia, 25, customer support specialist:
I'm now engaged to my one-time neighbour. Really, how it started was that my nephew was staying with me for a little while and he kept kicking his (blue) football into his yard, and he had dogs so I had to go to his gate to get it back every evening when he came home from work. One day he asked if he could perhaps take me out for drinks, or if the only thing he could get from that side of the fence was blue footballs.