A Neighbor

Vrooom . . . . vrooomm . . . . vrroooommm!!!

Every couple of weeks or so, he takes his mid-life crisis out of the garage and zooms around the neighborhood … at 25 MPH.  But because it is shiny, red, and has the cavallino rampante emblem, it sounds impressive even when it’s idling.

We met 14 years ago, shortly after a farm truck came by and dumped a ton of manure on our soon-to-be front yard.  He had his baby son in a stroller, and stopped to contemplate us from the sidewalk.

“A lot of soil,” he observed trenchantly.  “Are you going to be seeding?”

“No.  It’s going to be xeriscaped — rocks and bushes,” DH answered.  He regarded the pile, and repeated on a sigh,  “Lots of rocks and bushes.”

“Oh.”  Our new neighbor rocked the stroller gently, back and forth.

“I’m Dr. Crawford, by the way,” he finally offered.

He was a tall man, beginning to shamble to fat.  I looked at him with new interest, wondering just what sort of “doctor” would introduce himself to a neighbor as “doctor.” Whatever he was, I was pretty sure he was NOT a physician.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw DH perk up, begin to grin.

“Really?” he exclaimed.  “My wife’s a doctor —  she’s in internal medicine.  What’s your specialty?”

The stroller was still, and we waited expectantly.

“I’m a chiropractor,” he muttered.

“Ahh . . . .”  DH paused; there was nothing else to say.

Dr. Crawford wheeled around and began to push his son back home.  Then he stopped, looked at us, looked at the pile of manure, looked back at us.

“Can I have some of that topsoil for my flowerbed?”

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