My daughter and I had just left the house for a walk when my neighbor came at me.
“Nate!” he said, limping quickly. I scrambled to gather my daughter behind me.
“Nate,” he said again. “I’d rather we can talk like civil human beings, rather than just scream at each other and fight all the time.”
“I’d like that,” I said. But even as we shook hands, I was preparing myself. I didn't want to, but I might've had to break his nose. “What’s up?”
“Well,” he said. “The chickens are coming home to roost.”
“Is that so?”
“They’re kicking us out, you know. The government.”
“Of the country?!” I asked, hopefully.
“We’ve had a hard time, coming up with the money for taxes. You know I can’t work. So they’re giving us two months and then we’ve gotta leave.”
After delivering this bit of news, he waited, mouth-open, for my response. In any other conversation, this would be the point I’m supposed to say, “Aw, that’s too bad.” or, “Say it isn’t so.” or “Don’t leave me!” And so on.
Instead, I said, “That’s probably for the best.”