We have been living in our little unit for close to two years now and most of our neighbours we know, or at least wave to. Two of them even gave us cards when we got married. There is one neighbour in particular however who is like a hermit or something. She lives directly next door to us and I have seen her ONCE (yes really!), reversing out her driveway about 15 months ago, and since then, nothing.
The only reason I used to know that she existed was that her car would sometimes not be in the driveway, and then sometimes it would. Then it dawned on me that she must be a shift worker who works odd hours and that was why we never saw her. Problem solvered I thought!
About 5 months ago around the time we got married, the garden began to look a little shabby, and her ugly metal roller shuttered windows were always closed, and the car, it stared to stay permanently in the carport. I also started to get paid visits by her rather shabby looking cat, who sleeps in my garden beds, and mopes around my garden. The poor thing look decidedly underfed, its fur is really matted, and it looks severely underweight. It is from about that time on that we have come to know her as our strange hermit neighbour.
I also noticed that the only visitor she seemed to get was a green Hyundai Excel on Friday evenings, and sometimes on the weekend. It turns up and a decidedly butch looking lady gets out of it, and waddles inside. Now my husband and I have bets on whether our hermit neighbour will get a visit from her l*sbian lover or not each weekend. Cruel I know, but we are cruel, heartless w*nkers so it fits.
More recently the garden has turned into a forest of waist high weeds, in fact some of them are probably higher than my head (which is not hard, considering I am almost the shortest person in the world). There are also weeds in the driveway, also waist high, growing from in between the bricks. They seem to have grown around the car also, the navy blue Holden Astra is almost enveloped by weeds. So I am guessing that she hasn’t actually left the house in say, 4-5 months.
We got a sign of life (not her life though) two days ago, when several of her friends came to her house, three cars to be exact and hauled some crap onto the lawn for the suburbs junk collection, happening next week. Gave us an insight into the inside of her hermit zone, a white wooden bed head with a gold antique strip, and a queen size mattress in hippy green. Wow, what does it all mean? Nothing I expect.
Mmm, its funny how curious we are as humans, all I want to know right now is what the heck is going on there? What’s with the metal roller shutters that block out all the light, the whole not coming outside thing, the whole not feeding your cat properly thing, not bringing your bins in after they are emptied, like ever???!!!
I have been tempted to go and knock on the door with some baked goods or something, to make sure that she is ok. But there is always that constant toss up, would she really want that, would she latch on to me afterwards, would that be so bad, would I be doing it only the satisfy my curiosity. It’s a tough one, and until I take that leap, she will continue to be my strange hermit neighbour.