Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

Navigating humanity in a digital culture.

A month ago a new neighbor contacted me to let me know an older neighbor fell down the stairs and hit their head. The old man was bleeding/etc. Luckily, I was home and ran downstairs and helped the old man get back into his apartment. Had paramedics (and firemen) show up. And, after an hour of encouragement, convinced him to go to the hospital for the contusion that was turning from blue to black on his head. I have to admit, I was confused why the new neighbor called me rather than call 911. In fact, NO ONE in the building opened their doors despite the commotion. What if I wasn't home?

When I first moved into my now 24-year residence it was filled with many old Italians who loved to offer pints of "gravy" (another term for tomato sauce) and other traditional food items. It was a way to get to know each other. Check in sometimes. I've since cooked pasta for neighbors during a blackout and other, less dramatic instances. I've helped neighbors in countless ways (as is my nature -- ask anyone who knows me).

Alas, when the older folks died off and more recent, younger residents moved in, my neighborly overtures were met with indifference. From my personal experience, it seems the days of neighborly parlays in Brooklyn are dwindling (since before the pandemic) and I fear for a society navigating humanity in a digital culture. I'd rather know a good dozen people than *think* I know 5000 Facebook friends.

I'm a GREAT neighbor -- if you'll let me.

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