6. Neighbours
© Bruce Goodman 16 October 2013

It was quite difficult for the two neighbours. One was married, the other a recent widow. The married woman didn’t know how to offer her condolences because the widow’s husband had hanged himself.

It had seemed a perfectly ordinary day. Nothing particular seemed amiss, and then his body was discovered hanging in the garage. It was an inexplicable tragedy.

Still, life had to go on for the widow’s neighbour. She’s attended the funeral, and although she didn’t speak personally to the widow, she made sure she was seen — as if to say with her presence that she cared.

And indeed she did care, even though they weren’t close friends. Just neighbours. A cup of sugar borrowed and a how-do-you-do over the garden fence. That was all.

But at last the married woman couldn’t avoid the widow any longer. They were both gardening at the time. Their eyes met.

“Lovely day,” said the widow.

“Lovely,” answered the married woman coming over to the fence. “But hasn’t the weather being terrible?”

It was safe ground. The weather was always a neutral topic.

“Terrible,” said the widow. “I haven’t being able to get the clothes dry.”

“Oh but you’re lucky,” said the married woman. “You have such a spacious garage to hang things in.”

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