We live in town–in a neighborhood, which means we have neighbors. Human neighbors.
Sometimes the neighbors are in metal bands, and practice their drums at night–double bass pedal and everything. Sometimes the neighbors burn down the shed behind their house because they definitely were not attempting to cook meth, but had just let a homeless guy sleep there, but the guy set the shed on fire on his way out. Sometimes the neighbor is a racist elderly clogger with a butterfly fixation.
Human neighbors can be complicated.
I know people who live in the woods, and when I tell them about my neighbors, they make sour faces. I don’t really blame them. In the woods, fawns caper around in your front yard, and you get coyotes choruses at night instead the dog next door, testing the nuances of the perfect echo that bounces off the hill across Hawthorne Ave. In the woods you get to complain about things like mosquitos and ticks and the fact that you can hear distant traffic noises and see the orange light in the sky from a distant town. In town, you can’t really complain because you signed up for living in town.
But what if you didn’t live in town, or in the woods or anything? What if you lived in Botswana, on the savannah where your only neighbor is a lioness who wants to hug you?
That would be different, wouldn’t it?
But I imagine lion neighbors might also be complicated, in their own way.