Some Neighbors

He walked our hill with a cane, his limp noticeable.
My father asked him about it.
He’d been disabled in combat in the South Pacific.

He talked to no one, confined in his own world.
As he aged, however, he became more vocal.
His first complaint concerned people
parking on the edges of the road.
There being no sidewalks,
pedestrians were forced into the street to get by.
Most houses on our hill were old; few had garages.
Many parked on the street.
He’d ask the police to cite cars endangering pedestrians.
They couldn’t do anything,
so he petitioned the City and County
to designate both sides of the road tow away zones
during morning and afternoon peak traffic periods.
His petition was successful;
everyone had to move their cars then.
If they didn’t, he’d call the police, and they’d write tickets.
My dad had to park right up against our front door.

As he aged, his list of complaints grew:
Grass too high to walk through,
hedges too close to the road,
menacing dogs.
He’d get into shouting matches with anyone
about anything.

Neighbors talked amongst themselves, wishing he were gone.
Then he died suddenly, still not that old,
and no one missed him at all.

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