Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The way the buildings were built, I could hear this neighbor living a bit. I couldn't hear content, couldn't hear what he said or what he was doing, but I could hear that he was talking, that he was moving around.

One thing I knew about him is he grew up in Scotland. Another thing I knew, in a whole other part of my brain, is in Scotland New Year's Eve, called Hogmanay, or the Hog, is huge--that anyplace you've been where New Year's Eve is huge, it's huger in Scotland.

I noticed, on New Year's Eve in California, this neighbor stayed up all night, talking quietly with friends.

I wondered if that would be the minimum for adults from a huge New Year's Eve culture--with friends, all night.

It sounded quietly pleasant. I didn't stay up all night, but when I woke a little, it sounded like these folks had things covered in a good way--maybe five friends talking of a little this and a little that, at three a.m, five a.m., seven.

He sold his house near the top of the market. Not when the market started to slow down, but when many thought houses here would go up for years to come.

Within months after he sold, the decline started. I wondered if quietly and convivially listening to time change helped him know what time it was in a practical way.