What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

If I could go back in time

The first time my mother saw Gerry sunning herself, in a two-piece bathing suit, on her back porch of the row house next door, she labeled her as cheap, but still, neighbors are neighbors. Everyone always talked over the back fences, and daily conversations about Dark Shadows, the TV show that came on right after I came home from school, quickly established a connection between Gerry and I. So, I'd run home from school every day then go next door to watch "our show" with Gerry. She was 30ish, I was 15ish, but I never thought to think it strange. We had time to boil water and make tea in her kitchen before the show came on, then she'd lie on the sofa, I'd sit on the floor, and as her two rug rats scurried around us, we'd become absorbed in the black and white lives of Barnabas Collins, until the show went off and her husband got home from work, moments after I left.
Known on the street for her blonde hair and short denim shorts, Gerry was always a friend to me. A bit of a trailer park pin-up, her teeth were a little too crooked, and she smoked (typical in the 1960's), although never when I was there. I enjoyed having them as neighbors because Gerry's Uncle occasionally inhabited her basement. He only went to school through 6th grade but was good at electronics and would often teach me things with his voltmeter and oscilloscope.
Boys hanging out with older women, boys lured into the basement by the Uncle - all sounds suspicious, but it was all simple and good.
As males get old, their "wish I could go back in time" fantasies are sexual, and mine involves Gerry. I'd sit on the floor with my head inches away from those smooth outstretched legs on the sofa. "Gerry, you're my friend," I'd say. "I'm going to be dating soon, but I know nothing about girls at all. You have to help me. You have to be my teacher." How could she refuse me? It wouldn't be puppy love, just a simple request for a little training. Would she throw me out, or stay on the sofa, letting me turn around and admire the body that raised eyebrows whenever she sashayed down to the corner store?


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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