Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to freak out a neighbor in 4 lines of dialogue

The setting: a snowy Saturday in our condo’s uncovered parking lot. I am busy brushing an inordinate amount of snow off my car. Enter a cute neighbor guy I’ve never seen before, who starts brushing snow off the car next to mine.

Cute Neighbor Guy I’ve Never Seen Before: Hi, I’m Mark.* I just moved in.

*Names have been approximated because I always suck at remembering names until like the 23rd time I’ve met you. Unless you are a character on a television show. I can spit out the first and last names of every character on Friends—though I rarely ever watched that show—but I have co-workers I see every day whose names refuse to anchor themselves in my brain.

Me: Nice to meet you. I’m Jake. How long have you lived here?

CNGINSB: Just a couple weeks. Do you like the building?

Me, too busy with my snow scraping to engage my don’t-be-creepy filters: We really like it. But we’re on the first floor and we both moved here from highrises, so we’re still getting used to the fact that we can’t walk around naked.

CNGINSB: [blink, blink] Um … what did you just say?

Me, still oblivious: Yeah. But we finally got some blinds. Though we always forget to close them. But old habits die hard, I guess.*

*The irony here is that we don’t walk around naked. Especially in the winter. We both occasionally walked around naked in our respective highrises where nobody could possibly see us, and we’ve joked that we can’t do that anymore in our courtyard walkup. But that's the total extent of it. Unfortunately, my brain and my mouth don’t seem to have gotten the memo that true or not, none of this is appropriate small talk for a first conversation with a new neighbor. No matter how cute he may be.

CNGINSB: Well … good for you two.

Cute Neighbor Guy I’ve Never Seen Before silently keeps scraping his car until I finally get in mine and drive away.

Exeunt and scene

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