dear neighbour

to my dear, anonymous neighbour

I cannot thank you enough for your observation that my lawn is untidy. you see, I am stupid and actually thought it looked quite nice. I’ve never been fond of the manicured, monoculture lawn and it was a nice change when I moved out of mum’s house and could let the lawn go a little.

I sort of liked the way the patches of clover seemed to roll, how they were a little bigger in the middle so they looked puffy, tiny little green forests against the rest of the grass. and the dandelions, well, pain in the ass they may be but the bees liked them. I had noticed the bees were coming to my lawn because of the dandelions and the other weed flowers around. I’d have liked to plant some roses and other prettier flowers, but I don’t own this house and I’m not sure how long I’ll be here.

so, I had settled for weeds. hardy, pervasive, pesky weeds… with flowers for the bees. I sometimes liked to watch them come and go, waste a little time just looking on. but alas, I forget: I am stupid, and the lawn is untidy.

another thing I noticed, dear neighbour, is that the cats liked it. because the clover was so thick, they could flatten themselves down in it and play with each other. this meant that they had somewhere close to home to play, and wouldn’t go too far away from home – maybe putting themselves in danger of getting hit by a car, or chasing the resident wildlife. they are predators, even if they spend the bulk of their time knocking things off tables and screaming at me and my wife. however, I digress: I am stupid, and the lawn is untidy.

in some way, dear neighbour, although I’m sure you won’t understand this, refusing to mow my lawn was a quiet and non-aggressive act of civil disobedience. you see, I am in fact aware that it is ‘standard behaviour’ to keep a lawn a) neatly trimmed at a short length and b) free of any other plants or weeds unless contained to their own garden bed. I personally do not like this standard, because it encourages conformity and uniformity, and why should those attributes be encouraged? but you, dear neighbour, by calling my property manager and demanding that she make me ‘manage’ the lawn, have enforced this standard on me by proxy. I realise now that your opinion about my lawn far outweighs my opinion about it, and your standards are more important than my reasoning. again I digress… I am stupid, and the lawn is untidy.

dear neighbour, I must thank you one last time for enforcing your opinions on my life. it is a timely reminder that despite my best efforts I cannot be free of the desires of others even when what I’m doing doesn’t affect anyone else in practicality. it is a timely reminder that for every half decent person who is willing to think laterally and keep an open mind about why others may do what they do, there is a dickhead like you ready to appeal to authority so your voice is heard and your opinion is validated.

thank you for proving once again that individuality and self expression are less important than keeping up appearances.

and most of all thank you for reminding me that even in the middle of a global pandemic, even in the middle of all these uncertain times, even when tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, people can still find time to be petty little fuckwits.

yours sincerely, eip

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