Angie is a sweet elderly woman who has lived next door to us since we bought and moved into our home in march of 2012. She befriended Jeffrey one day while he was doing yard work and they have continued to have small friendly interactions over the years as they crossed paths in our connected yards. She even came in to see our house decorated for Christmas a few years ago.
Aside from a few waves, I had never officially met Angie until last summer, when she asked Jeffrey to introduce us. She was warm and friendly, and apologized for not making a point of meeting me sooner. She praised us as great neighbors, and even commented how obvious it was we were happy together.
Recently, we noticed various vehicles parked in Angie’s driveway. Some were moving company vehicles. Some were regular cars. It became quite obvious that the house was being packed up, repaired, and cleaned for what we can only assume is in preparation of being put on the market.
We don’t know if Angie is OK, and perhaps just moving out of the house because she can no longer take care of it by herself. We don’t know if she died. We don’t know anything. We are sad to lose such a sweet and kindly neighbor, and will be saddened further if we discover she has passed.
We are also worried about who will purchase and occupy the house next. We live in a very conservative neighborhood, but have managed to live peacefully with no incidents of hate or harassment directed at us in the 9 years we’ve been here, save for one drive by gay slur hurled at our house a few years back, that I just happened to be home to overhear. (I was inside, so it was not directed at me personally, just our house, with the rainbow flag waving proudly out front.) Our peace could be shattered at any time, if a difficult, unruly, or hateful neighbor were to move in.
We went through the same fears a few years back when the house on the other side of us sold. Those “new” neighbors are not particularly friendly, but leave us be and mind their own, so we’ve had no issues. We share a civil wave and hello when our paths cross, and that’s fine by us.
Is this a fear non LGBT people have? Is it a fear shared by other non-white/cis/straight/male people? Do other people/groups fear when their good neighbors move, houses are sold, and they wait to see who will be moving in? Or is it just us?
I hope we have nothing to be concerned with. I hope, at worst, it is another non-friendly, non-intrusive, quiet person or couple who moves in and our little suburban idyllic home life can continue on as normal. Hell, maybe it’ll a be a fabulous gay/gay-friendly person or couple that moves in and we’ll hit it off and be neighbor buddies.
Naw…the universe just isn’t that kind…at least, not to us.