I wept the day our next door neighbors fenced in their backyard. I hid behind our dining room drapes so they couldn’t see me from their patio where they watched the work crew toss rolls of chain link from a pick-up truck bed to their mowed twice weekly grass.
“You lied,” I said softly, “when you promised the green spaces outside our homes would always be wide open, when you told me the story of how years ago everyone on the street swore they’d never put up fences. ”
I dried my eyes with my t-shirt hem and moved into the kitchen, ran water to do dishes. I bet she’s punishing me, I thought, because last week I wouldn’t say for sure if I thought OJ murdered his wife Nicole or not. I shut the water off and tugged on rubber gloves.
I’d seen my neighbors’ daughter in Kroger’s awhile back with her boyfriend, his sleek young arm a dark circle under her blonde bob. Was he the reason my neighbor had taken such an intense interest in the trial and maybe he was why the girl had moved out sobbing last week. Was she even done with high school yet?
“No daughter of mine . . . Not in my house!” The declaration, a lion’s roar, had rattled my insides.
I removed my yellow gloves and returned to the dining room window where I pointed my words at the mom.
“She doesn’t resemble you at all. Bet no one ever tells her she’s the spitting image of the blue eyeshadow gal on the Drew Carey show.”
The next day I watched from a second floor window as the neighbor woman used a yardstick to space out forsythia pots inside the shiny silver boundary.
I sighed through my nose. “Now you see me, next year you won’t.”