Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Mayor of Briarleaf

Every neighborhood and community has one - some have more than one. My little area has two. The self proclaimed mayors. They watch the comings and goings of all residents and know when an unfamiliar car drives through. They keep a running tally of how many times UPS stops at your door.
They quietly mention that you watered your lawn on the wrong day. Reminders of the regulations are dispersed without any effort or malice. Gossip is a big thing with the mayors. The government mess is another great subject they like to discuss.
They are always there to help or supervise installments of the basketball hoop or edging. Cars are studied with determination and gas prices become a hot topic.
So this week when I go outside to walk the dog there is no figure walking up and down the sidewalk. There is no one to greet me and give me the latest updates on foreclosures and homes for sale. There is no one to offer child rearing advice or spout off about the new Walmart.
I see no one standing in the shadows watching cars drive by and writing down their license numbers. I hear no voices yelling over fences. The quiet in the neighborhood is troubling.
The second mayor in charge seems to be shirking his duties. The other day two of his dogs were roaming the streets and I had to urge them back home and lock the gate to the fence. Where was mayor two? Most likely at the hospital visiting mayor number one.
With both mayors absent from their self proclaimed duties I feel vulnerable and exposed. Once, an action I felt annoying, I now feel lost and actually miss the two mayors. Life in the cul-de-sac actually felt a little safer with the mayors watching over us.

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