I’ve never felt I was a recluse, but I do not know my neighbors. I see them at the elevator, but don’t know their names. I only leave my apartment for Doctors and haircuts, so I’m not doing much “building up”.
Today, we live isolated lives. My Dad would know everyone of the folks living in over 300 apartments here. He was simply a friendly kind of man. He would stand looking out of the corner windows as he washed dishes or made a cake and know every person walking up Arkansas Street. He would sit on our screen porch, shelling peas and call to them. Some would stop and come for a visit. Most were black. (Is it good to talk skin color?)
“Mister Sam” was very neighborly and respected. He loved people and they reciprocated. He taught that to my son as they sat on the back porch steps, sneaking a ‘chaw’ of Tinsley’s Gold Leaf. (I am fairly certain that Steven no longer “uses”). It must have been enjoyable for those who did, but it turned my stomach. I had a night of dizzy sickness at Boy Scout camp, just once, and that was enough to keep me away from the nasty habit. I didn’t escape cigarettes and a good cigar was fine, but they both left me infirmed, donchaknow.
I find it rather unfortunate that we do not know neighbors well enough to do other than nod. That doesn’t come close to what Apostle Paul instructed in his letter to the Church in Rome and that’s sad.
And, that’s what I get from MY box of chocolates. AMEN