Because our neighborhood has a strip of several blocks which has always been zoned “multi-family,” several small condo projects are mixed in with the single family homes here. Some are occupied by retired people who sold their large, empty nest homes, but wanted to stay in the neighborhood. A second segment of owners are Singles of all ages who like the large trees, wide sidewalks, and solid feel of the neighborhood. It makes for a delightful mixture of friends.
The condos are a nightmare for mail carriers and delivery people because the addresses are so similar. Lots of A through G’s along the street to cause confusion.
Some of our favorite neighbors live in the condos. One (I’ll call him Henry) is retired, long-divorced, and a grandfather. A former All-American and pro-ball player, he is still lean and handsome at 70.
A few weeks ago, Henry told Dearly Beloved that he’d been dozing on the sofa that Saturday afternoon when his doorbell rang, startling him. Without getting off the sofa, he opened his eyes halfway and looked through the sidelight in his front entry, to decide whether he wanted to get up and open the door, or ignore it and continue napping.
He was amazed by what he saw: a striking blonde with long, shiny cornsilk hair. She was wearing a fashionable miniskirt and high-heeled strappy sandals and held a huge basket of fruit in her arms.
Henry was enraptured by the sight of this lovely stranger.
“I wondered if I was dreaming,” he told DB.
When he opened the door to Dreamgirl, she smiled and handed him the fruit basket, telling him that it had been delivered to her condo by mistake.
He looked at the card. Sure enough, it was a Father’s Day gift from one of his children.
Each time DB has seen him since, Henry has repeated the story, embellishing it more each time… a mist in the air... the scent of perfume… a silky blouse… hair the color of sunlight… a mysterious smile.
Henry confessed that it was so surreal, he can’t remember whether he thanked her properly, unable to recall whether he was rendered speechless or babbling by the sight.
He is besotted by the memory of the afternoon visit. Just this week he brought it up again to DB.
“This beautiful woman at my door, bearing fruit… I swear, I thought I was dreaming.”
DB nodded and patted him on the shoulder.
“You might as well have been, Henry… might as well have been.”