Sunday, May 2, 2010
A Most Relaxing Conversation At The End Of The Day, With A Perfect Neighbor
There wasn't much energy left in me, not really. And as I got out of the taxi and entered the cherry blossomed-perfection of our waterside community, I felt relieved, as I often do, just by being back in my own neighborhood.
Unlike most of Manhattan, there was no traffic noise, nothing except the rippling sound of the water and people chatting while walking around at a much more relaxed pace than most of city life in this crazily busy metropolis.
What happened next was an example of a truly great neighborhood phenomena. Ben and I hung out on the street for at least a half hour, talking about anything and everything--including the antics of his two dogs, diet and exercise, my upcoming high school reunion, the process of aging, the secrets of centenarians, the benefits of getting two dogs instead of one, my new dog coming next week, how to handle stress with competitive colleagues and unruly friends, dating---you name it.
In short, as we often do when we accidentally meet in the morning--me on my bike and Ben walking his dogs--we chatted and laughed about life in general. I can't tell you how refreshing it was to have this spontaneous conversation--THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WORK--or ambition.
It was just a normal, fun, casual talk and I left Ben feeling energized rather than drained. There was no tension. It was a "clean" transaction, devoid of any negative emotions--enervating feelings that are so destructive. Ben is a fantastic guy with a happy optimistic personality, a calm temperament, someone you WANT to be with, someone who is not in emotional pain.
In short, he is the perfect neighbor. He's also a contempoary, around my age, so we understand the process of how we feel and why. Because we're both settled in certain aspects of our life--it's actually healing to be with him.
Once, months earlier, when I told him that I was stressed--and that my back hurt--he was kind enough to give me a great book about YOGA. This was typical of his kind nature--being giving, open, friendly, not intrusive, and generous-hearted.
Thanks Ben for a great gift, and the perfect end to the night.