1 min

The man next door

Toronto freelance writer Camilla Gibb — who’s not Portuguese — wrote a story in the Jul 5 National Post newspaper about a Portuguese neighbour.

She went about making friends, although the cultural and linguistic barriers between the two were large. It was working.

“We were allies up until the point when he spied me kissing my girlfriend good-night on the steps of my front porch. It wasn’t a rude and lascivious make-out session; it was simply a kiss, the normal activity of lovers in spring. But the problem was, well, I’m also a girl.”

“He has stopped talking to me,” Gibb writes. Her neighbour now cranks the radio to deafening levels when she’s in the backyard. He builds up soot-belching fires whenever she hangs wet laundry.

“Perhaps I am being paranoid,” she writes.

“Whatever offence I cause does not blow routinely over the fence into his face. I have indulged him in an effort to be friendly and respectful, even though my clothes smell as though I have been roasting a suckling pig.”