Image description: A brown and black mat says “Welcome,” and is placed before a yellow front door which is slightly ajar.
Last night, I wheeled my garbage and recycling bins to the curb for this morning’s trash day. A woman was outside in the diagonal, across-the-street yard, and she was playing with a cat. I turned around to walk back up the driveway when I heard from behind me,
With enthusiasm, I whipped right around and said, “Hi!” I’ve had no in-person contact for four weeks. Of course, I would welcome this greeting from across the street.
She continued, “I just wanted to say if there’s anything you ever need, we’re happy to help.”
“That’s really kind of you!” I projected over the distance. “Same here. My name’s Renee.”
“My name’s Renee,” I repeated.
There was a pause, in which I now think she was asking herself, “What did I hear? How does she know?”
“My name’s Renee,” my neighbor said.
“For real?” I asked.
We both laughed with delight.
I don’t know if she moved in recently, or if my double has been there the whole time without me knowing. Either way, it was a joyful moment. She said when all this is over, they plan to have a barbecue, and she’d love for me to come. I look forward to meeting my neighborly counterpart.
When I walked back inside, I kept laughing. My other neighbors saw me and smiled. I chuckled at this thought: What is our plural? Are we neighbor Renees, or are we neighbors Renee? Like mothers-in-law?
I choose the second. The neighbors Renee are delighting in greeting one another and are planning for a future barbecue.