I only know a few

I have a book at home that deals with community.The cover has a great aerial photo showing the back yard of a townhouse complex. Each townhouse has its own swimming pool on the deck – and each one is fenced off. The entire cul-de-sac is laid out like this. Sixteen homes, 16 pools, many fences. Love your neighbor.

I live in a small town that generally keeps to itself. I leave my cul-de-sac each morning in my own truck, alone in my cab, and commute 32 kilometers to work in the next town. I often see a couple of guys driving their trucks too. One guy, now dead, was from my cul-de-sac, the others are from my town. I work with a guy from my town. He commutes alone too.

I live in my home, on my fenced-in yard, not knowing my transient, private neighbors the way I would like to. I tore down the six-foot solid fence and put up a three-foot chain link one to keep our dog from seeking friends, but still allow communication with passers by. However, there seems to be cliques in my town that I don’t … can’t, belong to. They are invite only.

My neighbors stay in their buildings with shades and curtains drawn. They lock their doors when they are home. I also have a blog where I often rant about the human condition … my condition.

I sit secluded in my building, in my bubble, typing and staying in touch with most of the entire population of this blue ball I stand upon. I see no one, I am safe.

There is another building in my town. We can eat food there. Lots of people come to this building and we sit in our private settings, eating the same food. Our backs nearly touch. We are so close to one another, that only a whisper is needed to reveal our conversations. I don’t know who they are, these people close enough to smell and touch. They devote themselves to the Apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

I drive to church with my family every Sunday because we want to. Its a big new building that many are proud of. I like church a little. I love God a lot. I like people most times, but I have trouble recognizing some of them with their masks on. Sunday is too busy to meet people anyway.

Six billion people on the earth, and I only know a few.

Issue 3

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 3, Summer 2006, Playing House.

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