Our Neighbors as Literary Characters.

Easiest one?

Boo Radley, our next door mystery man.  Wild-eyed, saddled by a quiet physical intensity, our Boo doesn’t leave cool stuff in the open knot of a tree, rather, he drops spent cigs along our property line.  Ok, not a true Boo, but he’ll do.

The Catcher.

Our sarcastic perpetual teen across the street is disturbingly reclusive, a perfect combination of Holden Caulfield and his Cornish, NH counterpart, J.D. Salinger.  Truth be told, our Holden isn’t a teen.  He’s a Veteran, just like Jerry who stormed Normandy.


My people hunting hat.

Our Streetcar.

Driving the Mercedes from her driveway to her NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS HOUSE, swishing her eyebrows at me–a lowly pedestrian–Blanche DuBois is alive and blissfully unaware, hopelessly neurotic.  She’s pretty annoying.

The Old Man.

Unspeakably beaten, Santiago is the face of perseverance, an inveterate plyer of all things entrepreneurial.  The demise of his landscaping business, the truck-shipping Craigslist fiasco, Hemingway’s protagonist simply does not quit.  Triumph is read clear in his tired eyes.

Low Man.

Terribly insecure, living in the past, our Willy–a Brooklyn native, too–refuses to let me get a word in edgewise.  Bus-stop stalker of all things, he painfully sells fading ideas with a vulnerability that would make Arthur Miller blush.

Those I Wish Were Residents.

Dean Moriarty, Sal Paradise’s counterpart, would be the no brainer go-to-guy for booze-fueled action.  But, if I think about it, Dean would never be around.  He’d always be On the Road.  Not much of a neighbor, I guess.

Garp, John Irving’s aspiring and eventual author, would be the perfect sounding board for all things literary and absurd.  I can’t help but think he’d resemble Robin Williams.

And who doesn’t like an awesome dog?!  The neighborhood would be infinitely cooler with Jack London’s Buck, the mighty alpha canine.  I’d trust that dog with my retirement plan.

Those Who Aren’t Welcome in the Neighborhood.

Patrick Bateman, that American Psycho, with his crazy-intense business card and ridiculous morning routine can stay put on the pages of Brett Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel.  Much too violent for this suburban set.  We got kids, people.

Tyler Durden, while cool, is way too out there with his penchant for brawling and making soap from medical waste.  And all those Fight Club rules you’re not supposed to talk about?  Such an odd dictatorship.

We purposely don’t carry fava beans or decent Chianti, a clear message–persona non grata–for you know who…

Hannibal This has been fun.  I’ve run out of characters, though.  Any fiction or non-fiction folk you’d want as neighbors?

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2 Responses to Our Neighbors as Literary Characters.

  1. HH says:

    Those I Wish Were Residents.

    Salvatore P., kindred and travelling the lands of America he would spot my copy of Proust before I met him head on with a cold pair of 12 oz. curls to catch up before heading out again.

    Steven Seagal, the guitarist, Aikido instructor, deputy and actor. I prefer he lived at least one house over though and across the street as any initiation of communication at close quarters would end up in a Judo frenzy, let’s start our greetings based on EWAC protocol (Early Warning and Control), ok? And no worry beads or herbs/remedies comprised of powdered deer penis please.

    Any Futurist SME (Subject Matter Expert) or visionary, I would argue H.G. Wells for the house to my left (not the last house), Sal would be on the right. What a humbling experience and exchange with someone who thinks beyond today and on a worldly scale. I would be receptive to his didactic nature as long as he limited socialist empathy to our current Prez.

    And this kid: http://www.atbreak.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/tumblr_lgthovxMVT1qe0wclo1_1280.jpg
    His “Pumping Iron” Psychology against all the other neighborhood kids would be endless laughs over beers on the porch.

    Those Who Aren’t Welcome in the Neighborhood.

    Kai the hatchet wielding hitchhiker (google him). An unpredictable human can incorporate many qualities. Being a high drifter that’s already a few cans short of a six pack is bad. Don’t settle down around my neighborhood buddy.

    Drew Peterson. Cops uphold the law and serve citizens, Drew was a pig that severed citizens from their mortality, oh wait he married them first. What a creature feature! These days, luckily, he’s patrolling the Pontiac corrections center.

    Evan O’Dorney. Color coding a dictionary to filter out words that needed learning from Mom during the after home school program can lead to a spelling bee championship. It can also cause the scale of social aptitude to tip a little too far (I’m totally bustin on this one, he’s a good kid, I just wouldn’t invite him over for a kid’s night of scrabble w/o spilling a box of alphabet cereal in front of him during the final round). Here he is icing Kiran:

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