I met my new neighbour yesterday. ‘Hello!’ I said as he tried to open our front door on his way home from work. ‘I have just moved in downstairs! I’m called Lucy! Hello!’ My new neighbour smiled politely and offered his name in return. I can’t remember what it is though, because I was busy asking him all my questions. ‘Have you seen how good our local is?’ I asked enthusiastically. ‘I’ve not been there, actually,’ Named-but-forgotten neighbour replied. ‘Oh,’ I said quickly. ‘Are you a recovering alcoholic?’ He looked a little startled. ‘Or do you just not have any friends?’ I continued kindly.
‘That’s OK, you can pop down and have a drink with us.’ ‘I don’t really drink,’ He replied finally. I was a little wrong-footed, but recovered quickly. Nothing more impolite than dropping the conversational ball. ‘You can have juice!’ I exclaimed merrily. ‘I do like cranberry juice,’ He agreed. ‘Oh no,’ I told him sternly. ‘You can’t have cranberry juice. Everyone will assume you have cystitis.’ There was a short pause. ‘I do not have cystitis,’ My new neighbour reassured me. ‘Neither do I,’ I told him in return. ‘One vagina, zero cystitis.’
‘Anyway,’ I continued cheerily. ‘Where the people who lived here before nice? Did you all get on?’ ‘I didn’t really interact much with them,’ He replied politely. ‘Our paths didn’t really cross.’ I could tell from the wistful look on his face how much he regretted not getting to know the old tenants before they moved out. ‘Oh do not worry!’ I replied quickly. ‘I work from home. We can hang out loads.’
Unfortunately, at that moment my new neighbour had an urgent telephone call, so I wasn’t able to further put his mind at ease by setting a date, but I have stuck a note to the inside of our building’s front door:
WE DIDN’T SET A DATE, BUT PANIC NOT! I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!