Our neighborhood has become an interesting place. There have always been people driving up to the houses across the street, music blaring, and then yelling up to the people inside to come out. Now we have crowds of people hanging out on their porch or just standing on the street, groups of six or seven young kids just sitting on the sidewalk, sometimes playing with chalk, often getting yelled at by their parents, and the grown-ups shouting insults at one another and getting in one anothers’ faces. One night a neighbor was shooting fireworks off his balcony.

A little while back there was a drug bust across the street. A swarm of officers descended, banging on the door, and one guy tried escaping through a window, unsuccessfully. Half an hour later the women still hanging around were treating it like a joke. “They were squeezed into that car like a pack of sardines,” one lady said of the police. A little later one woman told another that she had used her friend’s name when the police asked who she was. “Well, if you’re me, then who am I?” she asked. They compared notes about what the poilce got, what to do about bail, and when they had to be in court, and eventually got on with their day.

Isa is ready to move, but not until buy a house. I guess we’ll wait it out, watching the comings and goings out our living room window. Maybe I’ll have a hanging with the homeless story yet.