How to Walk Around (Here)

by Jack Perkins

This is a great walk-around-neighborhood.  Partly old fashioned and partly bleeding edge, partly relaxed and homey and partly stressed-to-the-max.

Living here plagues me with a question I can’t answer:  when I am out walking is it better to wave and say hi or is it better not to make eye contact?

If you make eye contact to see whether you know someone and it turns out you don’t, is it acceptable to say “hi” anyway?  Or is it creepy?

People are always nicer in the country, at least that’s been my experience.  In the Hinterland, saying “hi” and giving a wave to anyone is easy.  Is it just a little harder to be nice here?

Just what is the protocol for saying “hi”?

Should I look to see if I know someone and if I do should I say “hi” or wave? What if I don’t know them that well?

How well do I have to know them?

What if they are driving? How is it possible to acknowledge a neighbor if their car has tinted windows?  What if they aren’t someone I know? Will they feel creepy when I stare through their tinting trying to recognize them?

What if someone I know drives by while I’m out walking  and they recognize me and wave but because their car has tinted windows I can’t see them wave?  They could see me staring at them while I strain to see through their windshield, and then I don’t wave back because I can’t see them.  What will they think?

I’ve struggled with this for a long time and there are no easy answers.  Walking around here is vexing.

Walking around at night is nice because its dark and nobody can see.  I don’t wave at night.

Stalking the nighttime
Headlights and Priuses whirr
Should we get Chinese?

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