Our Nightly Measures (handmade collage)


When the last box had been unpacked and every tchotchke put in place, Rhonda and I went out onto our new patio to sit under the stars and enjoy a couple of well-earned glasses of wine. Except for the sound of a train in the distance, the night was blissfully silent. A rustling in bushes on the other side of the fence startled Rhonda. "It's okay," I said. "It's probably a cat." The next moment Rhonda gasped. Peering over our fence, illuminated by moonlight were a man and woman. Each held a giant wood ruler. I jumped to my feet. "May I help you?" I asked, trying not to sound unfriendly. The couple stared at us without saying a word. I decided to take the initiative. "We're your new neighbors. This is Rhonda and I'm ..." The woman spoke, "Oh, we don't live here. Don't mind us. We're on our nightly measures. We're passing through this sector and should be finished in a jiffy." She and the man then disappeared behind the fence and resumed whatever it was that they were doing. Rhoda smiled, bemused. I shrugged and took a sip of my wine. "Welcome to the neighborhood," I whispered.