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Name: knitabulous
Location: Mt Keira, New South Wales, Australia

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What I know about my neighbour

13 Mar 2006

I live on the high side of a steep hill. My back sunroom and deck overlook his backyard. We spend a bit of time outside and I can't help but notice some things about my neighbour.

I think his name is Adrian.

He has long hair in a plait down his back and wears glasses. He usually wears a filthy baseball cap. I think he could do with a visit from the queer eye guys.

He smokes a lot and has always got a beer in his hand.

He lives alone in a house that my friend and her family used to live in when we were in high school. It is a big house.

I don't think he has a job. But he dresses in work gear, king gee shirts with reflective patches and workman's boots; I can't explain this.

Every Tuesday he hangs his washing on the line. There are green sheets, some clothes, some towels and some underwear. He is very particular about the hanging, and it is always on a Tuesday.

He has a very loud high quality hifi system but I have only heard it once, he recently played some heavy metal really loud for about three minutes.

He does a lot of work in his yard. And I think there is a car in his garage that he is working on because sometimes he starts it up and revs it like mad, but I have never seen him drive it anywhere.

A while ago a couple came to visit him. I think it was his mum and dad. He and his dad sat on a plastic table and smoked cigarettes, drank beer and played cards practically in silence for four days straight while the mother swept and scrubbed and washed around them.

People say he must be doing alright to afford a big house like that on his own, especially if he doesn't work.

One evening, maybe at the beginning of summer, Alan and I were sitting on our back deck which overlooks his yard, we noticed he was entertaining a young lady. We found it mildly amusing and were silently cheering for him from the sidelines, even though we had our backs to him. We tried not to be obvious but you could sort of tell by the awkward body language of the both of them that it wasn't going well. I wanted to call out to him to put some music on to create a bit of atmosphere, I didn't of course say a word.

He recently built a retaining wall between his house and the other neighbour. He worked like a dog with a guy who looked like his brother. They did a really good job.

At night, when I sit and knit on my back verandah, I can hear his zippo lighter clicking in the darkness in his backyard. He has a table and chair there and he must sit there at night and smoke and drink his beer. He is an insomniac, or at least a night owl like me because he is often still there when I go to bed around 1:00 am.

Alan and him and the other neighbour had a beer together in the other neighbour's backyard a few times. Alan said he was an alright bloke.

He committed suicide last Tuesday.

I wish I knew more about him, but it's too late now.

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