The Front Porch Solution

It’s Saturday morning, cool, bright and beautiful. It’s going to be hot later, but right now the front doors are open wide and I’m sitting in the doorway on a bentwood rocker, laptop humming, when two women walk by on the street below.

The pretty blonde, the younger one, doesn’t see me. The brunette, older and not pretty from this distance, does. She’s wearing a goofy, Auntie Em straw hat and just before they pass behind the big pin oak that dominates the front yard, she glances up and spots me.

When they get past the oak and the Japanese maple, the view will be unobstructed and I will have a choice to make. I can give her a neighborly wave, or I can pretend  I’m busy.

The person I used to be – and sometimes still am – scanned people quickly to decide who was important and who was not. Was this someone I knew? Someone I should know? Someone I can ignore?

In a sense, this moment is a throwaway, like so many others. I’ve never seen the woman before, and most likely I’ll never see her again. And if I do, I could ignore her then, too, because already I know that we are from different bandwidths on the human spectrum. She is of no importance to me.

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