The Lazy Whore at 35th and Sellwood

I see my neighbor across the street now and then. I wave and smile most of the time. I’m not the most chatty neighbor. I really don’t like meaningless  on the surface conversations. I might be a little private and like to keep most people, especially those who have the ability to look into my windows, at an arms length. I do understand that sometimes small talk is necessary in order to build rapport. I am forced to do the weather- elevator talk to fill the uncomfortable silences at work with many different folks. I get it. But when I a get home from work, I don’t do this. I would rather just point and grunt when I am off the clock. So, when I see my neighbor across the way, I do my best.
On a particular day in the not so distant past. My neighbor decided to cross the street to chat. He walked up and said, “Did you lose your job?” I replied, “No”. He noticed that I’m home more often. I didn’t bother to explain that I have a flexible work schedule and I didn’t fill him in about  my office being noisy and working from home, sometimes, is a more productive choice. Stephen then abruptly changed the subject and  then reported that I had 3 men over at my house this the past weekend. I just smiled and nodded trying to stay true to my internal no speaking rule that I like to stick to on most days when I am not working. However, in my mind, I did start replaying the past weekend, trying to recollect. Well, Stephen was right. I did. My ex- husband came by to help fix my fence. Then later a friend, that happened to be male, stopped by with some lunch and we had a pretty nice visit. And then on the following day, the guy I was actually dating did come over for a bit. Again, I did not explain any of this to Stephen. I stood, listened, smiled and nodded in agreement that Stephen observed correctly. He finished his mainly one-sided conversation by saying, “I don’t care what they say Amy, you’re doing just fine.” What? Wait…. They?
Then Stephen casually walked across the street back to his yard. And it occurred to me that in a matter of 5 minutes during super casual laid back conversation, he just called me a lazy whore. Well done Stephen.

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