Day 2: Neighbors

Day 2 of telling your stories: neighbors.

Who were your neighbors? Kids your age? A huge dog? A mysterious Boo Radley type? Who lived down the hall from you in your dorm? Who lives across the street now? What friends have you and your kids made at the bus stop?

The funniest thing crossed my mind the moment I thought of ‘neighbors’: the subdivision I spent my growing up years in is a small, close-knit community in the city with only approx. 300 families who almost knew everyone else in the neighborhood. What came to mind was that, in that same community of 300 families, I’ve been linked to four different boys at different stages of my development (the “crush” phase, the first “true” puppy love, rebound guy, and the “friend into lover” drama stage).

In more liberated cultures, being linked to four different guys, as long as at different stages, in a single neighborhood is perfectly fine. Even if more Filipinos are more open-minded these days, there still are a number who are disturbed by it. So, the streets in our subdivision were currencies and we used to live in Franc Street for a little more than a decade before we moved to Pound Street where we still are now for five years (and counting).

So, my first crush happened when I was in the fourth grade. We were in Franc Street (our house then was in the corner lot – Yen St.) and we had a food cart selling fish balls (a common Filipino street food) in front of our gate. Each afternoon, my crush (who was from Dinar Street) would pass by along with his friends after their afternoon basketball game. He was about four years older than I was – and, for someone in the fourth grade, a four-year gap is huge enough for us to never ever get the chance to interact. I mean, I barely had boobs and he’s got some cute facial hair. I got past him, of course.

When I was in junior high school (2005), I started my first longest relationship (which lasted 23 months). The guy was from Pound Street and he was the funniest I ever hanged out with. I’ve seen him around the neighborhood a couple of times before us being introduced and him wanting to be with me (we had cute moments I used to think are cute for everyone but am now embarrassed to tell about lol). He transferred to my high school (which was an 8-minute walk from my house) and we walked to class each morning together, had recess together, spent our lunch breaks together, and our field trips like dates. Basically, he stole half of my high school social life, but I’m grateful he did. We broke up before college and, to date, we’re very good friends.

I went to my first two-three years in college without getting serious with relationships. It was in college that I had a shift in neighbors (because I had to live alone – a two-hour drive from home) but also found myself getting linked to someone from my family’s subdivision later on. He was my first rebound guy and he was, like my former crush, from Dinar Street. Funny they’re friends and the same age. Disclaimer: I didn’t intend to rebound on him (details when I’m ready).

After our family moved to a slightly larger house in Pound Street, we’ve been positioned right across one of my closest guy friend’s house. He was one of the nicest and, I swear, a boyfriend material who confessed his, you know, L word. We didn’t work out – he’s nothing more than a brother figure to be around with. Besides, he’s a little too good for me.

The thing is, there are more neighbors I have had significant experiences with and funny moments to tell of, but I am using this day’s prompt to show how neighbors can help affect aspects of our lives more than we’ll ever realize. Neighborhoods are environments, and environments are very important especially in developing years. And the most dramatic transitions and pains one will ever have to go through as he/she grows is in romance. I see this blog and my 30 days of stories as an avenue to introduce myself and my past to my future children and younger relatives – at what age the children will be when I plan on showing them, I still haven’t identified…

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