An “outcast” is the laughing stock of his community.
Of course, making fun of people is not a respectable thing to do (especially if you are an adult) but this community made an exception for him.
He would never go to council meetings.
He would never go to barbecues.
No one ever went to his house.
It even seemed like he never left his house, if you operated on a normal daily schedule, but if you were perceptive, you would see him check his male from yesterday about an half hour before dawn and do a short run around the neighborhood; always getting back home before the rest of the neighborhood woke up.
His house was the keystone of the cul de sac; the one that stared you in the face as you drove straight down.
Not leaving his house much, he did not do much “cleaning” or upkeep, but it was interesting how his house never seemed to fall into too much disarray.
One idiosyncrasy of his that did reveal himself to the neighborhood, and at length, was when he would cut his grass (demanded of him by the homeowners association).
He cut it two times a year: one in the spring and the other just before winter after it had gone to seed.
This is when things got ugly.
The “men” would walk by and make their jabs, conveniently from the other side.
The housewives would make their gripes just audible so he can hear, but just low enough to remain an otherwise intimate conversation with their dog-walking partner.
He never paid them attention.
Objectively, no one could attack his “person”; he always wore a gray hoodie with black sweatpants and the Adidas sneakers that he had since high school.
Being a man of just past his mid-thirties, he retained the look of a man in his early twenties.
His hair had a loose curl to it that he wore in a tussle with loose bangs falling to a point on the left side of his forehead; reemphasizing a vision of youth for an almost middle-aged man.
He always seemed to hold, if not a smile, some energy in his cheeks which nevertheless brightened his countenance and made him look pleasantly attentive
One person noticed this unbalanced and discrepant attitude of the community, however.
The youngest son of a couple who had moved in a few months ago.
He had always too to the uniqueness of his house over the repeating pattern of row after row of suburban “chic”.
One Saturday, he took his mail from the day before and with perfect timing, met the young boy as he opened his front door.
“Well I thank you kindly sir, that saves me a long trip down my driveway.”
As young boys are want to do, they get the first step down pat, but usually
Sensing that the boy was not here to just do a good deed and leave, he primed the pump.
“...you know when I was your age, I moved to this very house. By the time I graduated high school, my parents paid off the mortgage and moved farther out in the country, giving me the wonderful gift of my own house, and do you know what’s so good about that?
“I can do whatever I want, and do you know what that means?”
“It means that there is nothing to do; isn’t that wonderful!”
The boy nodded in floppy-haired approval.