*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.
I grew up in an interesting neighborhood. There was always something happening, and I could see most of it through my living room window. The neighbors who lived across the street were the source of much entertainment. They were always up to something.
As a teen growing up without the Internet or cable television, I often relied on the coming and going of these neighbors for amusement. For example, one of our nearby neighbors borrowed a car every night. At least that's what he told me when I asked him.
"That's a nice car," I told him. "Where did you get it?"
"I borrowed it," he replied, and no one ever told me otherwise.
Every morning when I woke up, I would go to the living room window to see what kind of car my neighbor had borrowed overnight. He had excellent taste in cars. It was always a newer model sports car or luxury car he had picked up the night before.
He always parked the car in front of his house. Clearly, he didn't want to walk very far from his parking spot to his front door, and who can blame him? He was probably exhausted from being out on the town all night long.
On a typical day between 9 a.m. and noon, a tow truck would arrive to retrieve the "borrowed" car. The following morning, there would be another car in its place. It was as regular as clockwork.
I never found out where my neighbor got all of those cars. But it was always entertaining to watch the show. Sometimes I would even wave to the tow truck driver as he drove away with the car. My neighbor never wavered in his story, though. He always claimed to have borrowed the car.
My parents and I moved out of that neighborhood when I was nineteen years old. We still live in the new neighborhood, which isn't exactly new anymore. It's a lot quieter here, and we can't see any of our neighbors' homes from our windows. That makes things a bit less interesting and a whole lot more peaceful.
Today, we live across the street from a swamp, which is far less entertaining than our old neighbors. However, living near a swamp has its benefits. For example, it's a lot quieter living across the street from a swamp than living across from our old neighbors, and that's a definite plus.
As an adult, I look back on those days in the old neighborhood with fondness even though I wouldn't go back if I could. It was a simpler time, and my neighbors provided me with endless entertainment. I'm sure they never knew just how much they affected my life. I will never forget those days or the interesting characters who made them so special.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories about your neighbors growing up? Share them in the comments.