At six AM, nothing seemed extraordinary.
With its persistent cold, the dry air lingered above the trees, leftovers of the night for these endless fields. Silvery piercing morning lights iced the roadways — rich white nothingness. Icicles traveled backward towards their stationary life, marching with the day in a calming frozen melody.
He stayed a little longer in bed.
Outside, the sun moved carefully, not wanting to break the passing of its light above everything on its way to the other side of the world. Someone knocked at the front door. From where he was sitting to the sandals seemed an eternity.
On the other side of the studio’s windows, near his front porch, a couple of people sat on the snow-covered lawn. They were not talking to each other. They just sat there, watching as the horizon played with the clouds’ colors through the almost absent movement of the old pines. He did have one of the most delightful views of the eastern side of the mountains. “Who are these people?” he asked himself.
He looked outside from the living room window, trying to get a better view of their faces, but they were gone.
The door opened as they started to knock once more.
“We are the Kerouac’s, and we are your new neighbors.” They talked about their professional background, some health issues, and why they moved here, far away from any populated urban development. During all the formal particulars of typical introductions, he kept looking from them towards the background’s hills, focusing on one and the other, alternatively. How did they make it so fast to the door? He thought. As their voices began to fade, he was touched in the shoulder by Mr. Kerouac:
– It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please do not be a stranger. We are neighbors. After all, we love how the sun rises from your house!
As he closed the door, he heard his wife preparing her morning vegetable juice, and he walked towards her. Passing through the living room, he looked outside the windows. And once more there they were. The new neighbors, sitting as they were before, looking into the sunrise, without talking, contemplating it’s happening. He froze right there. The only thing that made some sense was the sounds coming from the kitchen, the breakfast making symphony his wife produced every morning.
Then the knock came again, and another. Feeling relieved by the sound, he walked back to the door.
– We are “the Kerouac’s”.
He gestured a mechanical welcome, a sort of “I have no choice now, do I?” They repeated the formal introductions like a movie rewinding itself over.
He walked back to the bedroom, avoiding any windows, realizing that he was wearing his wife’s night sandals. She probably was wearing his. Still, after calling her out loud, without an answer, he went to the kitchen, and it was empty. Her juicer was drying on top of the sink, and she had left a note on the fridge, letting him know that she was going to pick up the children from school that afternoon. The oven clock read nine AM when he started putting his suit on, still tinted by the morning’s happenings.
Three hours had passed since he woke up, and he had no recollection of his wife leaving, or eating breakfast with her, just a very disturbed brief encounter with this “new neighbors.”