Characters in your neighborhood

When you first move somewhere new each face is a stranger. But over time you get know your neighbors and they're no longer strangers, but your neighbors. You become familiar with their routines. And some of those neighbors stand out a bit more than the others.

Those neighbors have a particular quirk. They do something different. These neighbors, these... characters, are what make a neighborhood a neighborhood. And sometimes we're that character. But something is lost without their presence.Β  My neighborhood too, indeed, has a couple of characters worth sharing.

One is a neighbor about 10 houses down. Like most older men in my neighborhood he's retired and I'd often see him come back from a walk when I 'm walking Sophie.

But one day I noticed he looked to be slowly stalking a cat. Odd. And a few days later, stalking a cat... after a brief chat I realized he wasn't stalking the cat, but he "walks" his cat. The cat's not on a leash, but he kind of guides it up and down the street. My neighbor, the cat walker.

Like many Japanese neighborhoods, mine has tori and little shrines spread throughout every so often. Each shrine has a kami. It's a holdover from when this was all farmland.Β 

Which brings me to our next character. You can't miss him. I've seen him out running at various times. A running neighbor is nothing special, but this neighbor's route is particular. He runs from his house (I presume, I'm not sure where he lives) past each tori and to the local shrine.

When he passes each tori he stops and bows to pay his respects. I probably wouldn't have noticed this routine or payed much attention but not for his attire. He runs in dark blue jeans and a white button down shirt.

Who are some of the characters in your neighborhood?
  • I love this The only character in my neighborhood is the guy who leaves his gigantic dog outside 100% of the time and refuses to let him inside despite the noise complaints and police reports dating back what appears to be at least 10 years before I moved here