Chapter 1 : OF SPOCK AND THE NEIGHBOR
So here I am, yet again, sitting quietly, trying to gather my thoughts, at my desk in my quiet living room.
This is my situation and dilemma. It is not for lack of want, motivation or even ideas. But oh to drag those thoughts in my head and put them into words. It is frustrating.
I let out a huge sigh. Then just because, I sigh again.
There is a knock on my door.
Oh goody, distractions. Do I get up or not? I debate with myself. The spirit is willing but the body is so, so lazy!
Another knock, then another.
Ah well, guess I have to get up now, it’s only polite to.
Reluctantly, I make my way to the door and open it.
Well, what do we have here?
There he stands, the next door neighbor, someone I barely know because apparently he is the type to only lease an apartment but spend more time out than in it. It had been making it rather hard to get to know the guy.
But let’s see, I know the important details about the guy, see? I mean, I am pretty sure that he is not an axe-murderer or a thief looking to stake out my place just so he could rob me in my sleep. Not that I sleep much lately. Too much to do and not enough time to do them, there’s just so many hours in the day.
Besides, I have nothing anyone would want to steal anyway, unless the would-be robber is interested in the many books I have filling up my wobbly bookshelves which line up three-fourth of the wall of my otherwise bare living room.
Did I mention that I am a bookworm?
Someone in my family once said that I am almost a literal bookworm the way I go through the pages of the books in simply hours, devouring the content hungrily.
I argued that that is the nerdy way. Yes, I am a ‘proud and out nerd’, too school for cool.
So I like reading, and I like books, sue me.
But I digress, and the neighbor is still waiting patiently for me to acknowledge him. He looks like he has something important to say, anyway.
“Good day.” He greets politely.
“Hi!” I say bemusedly.
“Is this yours?” He asks with a friendly enough smile. There held securely but stiffly in his hand is my cat Spock. The brat!
I mean the cat of course, not the neighbor, who is the brat. I don’t know the neighbor well enough to call him a brat. Yet.
What is his name anyway? The neighbor I mean. Jim? Jake? Mack? Hmm, whichever.
Anyway I digress, again.
“Oh no, what did he do now! Spock, you bad kitty!” I exclaim in what I hope is a distressed tone, even as I reach out to take Spock from Jim-Jake-Mack.
Truth be told though, I am actually delighted that my cheeky cat went to seek out the so-far ‘hard to pin down’ neighbor. I mean, this is an opportunity to get to know him, right?
“Spock, huh? Do you watch Star Trek?” The neighbor asks with a friendlier smile.
“Oh, not so much. Do you? I just watched the new movie, you know the one with the yummy Chris Pine in it. I can’t name my cat Jim or Kirk, too human, which Spock my cat is definitely not, so I just named him Spock after the er, whatever the alien is.” I babble.
Mouth-filter, what is that?
I conveniently neglect to mention that I had watched all the Star Trek movies and television shows, even the earlier ones with bad special effects and unbelievable make-ups where the aliens looked way to cartoon-ish or colorful. It is none of his business anyway.
“I believe he’s Vulcan or some such. Very serious and no nonsense kind of fellow. Spock the alien-being, I meant, not your cat.” Jim-Jake-Mack says with what is definitely a very friendly smile now.
Huh, what do you know? A possible fellow nerd?
“Oh, I didn’t know that. Like I said, I just watched because of the hot guys in tight body-fitting spandex suits.” I say.
Oh my gads, ye fools and unfiltered mouth!!
“Err, did I say that out loud?” I stammer. I refuse to blush in mortification.
“Yes, you did” My neighbor says. Is he laughing at me?
Huh again. I thought Jim-Jake-Mack was supposed to be this ‘mysterious, doesn’t socialize much, taciturn, serious’ neighbor. He does not seem like someone who has a sense of humor.
That showed how much I knew. Never judge a book by its cover.
In my defense, he really had been unapproachable, what with him not being seen for weeks at a time. Some of the other tenants were starting to wonder if the apartment has been rented to a ghost.
But getting back to that moment; when there is that awkward instant where you think you have to do or say something but you just don’t know what.
So there we both stand at my doorway, him with his hands stuffed in his pant’s pockets, me with Spock cuddled in my arms while I’m looking at my neighbor somewhat at a lost.
Spock doesn’t care, drat cat just purrs loudly and digs his claws into my arms.
“I’m Peter.” Neighbor-man suddenly blurts out and thrusts his right hand at me.
Surprised, I almost drop Spock.
Spock isn’t pleased.
With an indignant meow and hiss he leaps away from my arms and runs away in the direction of the kitchen. I watch him bemusedly before I turn back to Peter the neighbor who still stands there with his hand held out for a shake.
I have this incredible urge to break out into the song, “You put your left hand in, you put your left hand out, you put your left hand in, and shake it all about…na-na-na!”
It is playing quite a happy jig in my mind, dear gads spare me my distracting mind!
“Oh! Err, hi!” Recovering quickly, I stammer. “Nysa. My name that is.” I reach out and give his hand a vigorous shake before releasing it.
But seriously, you live next door to a guy for almost six months and you never get to meet him long enough to speak to him, and you know next to nothing about him, now he is at your door being neighborly and bringing back your wayward cat and introducing himself and evidently wanting to talk more?
Well, you can’t blame me for being a little caught of guard, you know. I am a friendly enough person, I know pretty much everyone in our three-story apartment building, so it is not like I’m treating him differently. I’m just shocked.
Find more stories here https://myreadingpoet.com/category/fiction-and-short-stories/
Star Trek trivia here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek