She talks not looking me in the eyes and blurts out a thousand words a second. She has opinion about everything. She knows how semaphores should be installed and how government secretly plots forest fires to keep people under control. There is always something she is not happy about. “It makes me furious!” she repeats.
She is my neighbor; our kids go to the same school and like playing together so I’ve had a chance to gain a bit more than just first impression.
She is very shy and covers it with bravado of being a strong woman who knows and controls everything.
She adores her children and is not able to leave her 5 year-old daughter home with anybody, even a member of her family. She is preoccupied with her 11 year-old son who doesn’t want to study. “Why doesn’t he use his willpower? Why doesn’t he realize that every action has consequences? Why cannot he do anything on his own?” she asks and then tells me that she still laces his shoes.
She is generous to those she chooses to like, but barricades the rest of the world. She cares enough about my son to give him toys and candies and be ready to cry when he falls running too fast, but she never approves if her daughter shares anything with other kids on the playground. “They can rip you off, stay away from them”, she teaches and hides a pack of cookies in the bag.
She is a movie geek, so when I get tired of listening how imperfect the world is I switch the subject to “What new have you seen?” She used to work in a video store before the birth of her kids, and I think it remains her most exiting pre-family memories; one of the walls in her apartment proudly demonstrates the framed logotype of that shop.
What bugs me is that I met her before, in my previous life, I mean, before I moved here. I used to work with a woman who was so much like her – loud, opinionated and insecure. She spoke with the same speed and intonations, and her facial expressions and even the features were so similar that sometimes I’m afraid to call my today neighbor by the name of my ex-colleague. How is it possible, I wonder, and what is this? Is it just a weird coincidence or do I somehow attract the same kind of people or is it a very frequent psychological type, a standard combination of features that make people from different generations, social and ethnic circles so strangely and annoyingly alike?