There was a card in our new mailbox welcoming us. Phone numbers were printed evenly in ballpoint on the back. I left it on the kitchen counter for weeks.
They invited our children for sparklers on the driveway and told us how the woman who lived here before wore a headlamp to pick up after her dog at night. They told us about the fox on the road at dawn. They laughed about how lawn watering is a sport around here.
On a cold day, my husband’s phone dinged. “Time to check your boiler,” the text read, “winter is almost here.” We should invite them over, he said. I bought cheese and set crackers on a platter. When they came, the woman would not sit down. “My back,” she explained. The hovering got to me.
She’s on the library board. There was a school bus crash. They met at work. The weather pattern here is not what you would expect. Their son is obsessed with baseball. He never wears long pants. “He loves shorts.” I glugged my wine.
Later I looked out the bathroom window into the backyard and imagined stepping out with a beam of light coming from my forehead, looking for shit in the lush grass.
Beth Stevens is an Emmy-winning writer, editor, and producer. She is a founding editor of Broadway.com, where she continues to serve as Managing Editor. She has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. There are a lot of people named Beth Stevens. This one is not the Harvard neuroscientist, country singer, finance consultant, or young performer in Liverpool.