Hi Everyone! Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming author Xavier Axelson to my blog. Xavier is discussing his dislike of nosey people! Coming from a small village in Wales where everyone knows your business I can certainly relate. Welcome Xavier!
By Xavier Axelson
I hate nosey people. I dislike the idea of not minding ones own business. While in college I remember being in class and there being a discussion about how people look in other people’s medicine cabinets while using their bathrooms. The professor asked how many people engage in this behavior and if I remember correctly, almost everyone raised their hands, me being the exception.
The worst part was no one believed me! Not even the professor.
“Not even once!” Was the common refrain for the rest of the discussion.
To which I answered, “Absolutely not!”
I honestly have/had never even thought to look in anyone’s medicine cabinets while using the bathroom. Not once. I remember being shocked by how many people did this on a regular if not habitual basis. My classmates were horrified by my lack of curiosity, or willingness to admit my transgressions.
Who cares? I didn’t. I remained and remain an adamant believer in not snooping. It really gets you nowhere and if you do discover something, you usually end up wishing you hadn’t discovered it.
I bring this up because today as I was enjoying a piece of well buttered and toasted, homemade raisin, brown sugar and honey bread and a soy mocha I caught a glimpse of my neighbors children who live behind me tromping past my window. Now my shades were drawn just enough that I could see them and they could look inside my home but not enough for us to see each other. This family is fascinated with whatever is going on in anyone else’s yards except theirs. Particularly the people who live behind me and to the left of my home.
I have witnessed the old man of the family literally walk past my window where I am working and stare blatantly and for indefinite amounts of time into that neighbors yard. The kids are always back there snooping around and even the middle-aged man who lives or visits the house will end up looking over into the neighbor’s yard with the intensity one may save if they were viewing a dragon for the first time.
Now, how do I see all this? I’m lucky enough to have set my writing station up behind a window that looks out on the area between my house and the nosey neighbors back shed. There is literally two feet between our houses and there is a fence separating the property. It is not the view of my dreams and I have more than once been surprised when I look up from computer screen to see people passing in front of the window, usually after one of the peeping sessions into the other neighbor’s yard.
There is also a horrific myth that involves the old man, a carton of kittens and his ruthless strangling of each and then discarding the box. I did not witness this event but the person who did promptly called the police and I believe the man was questioned about the incident. I don’t know. I’ve heard he’s senile, dead, nearly dead, depraved and all of the above. He’s argued with my landlords who have been friends with the family for a million years over a less than 1 foot overhang of roof that suddenly now bothered him. The roof had to be shaved off to avoid the man taking drastic actions.
I’m surrounded by people who are involved in other peoples affairs. On all sides. What and where is the line between being neighborly and nosey? Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched would have been much better off if she wasn’t constantly peering out her window over at the Stevens’s witchy abode. Where did that get her?
I wonder if I am just aloof or truly uninterested in what is going on in other peoples homes/yards. I’m not one who notices when a neighbor is moving in or out or if they are putting an extension on their driveway or building a swing set for their children. I think back to growing up and I can’t remember either of my parents being overly involved with neighborhood gossip. My father is definitely not gregarious and my mother while definitely social always managed to keep herself removed from the interiors of small town talk.
While in college, I came up with a phrase many of my friends adopted. Anytime someone was being nosey or too inquisitive for his or her own good I would say, “Business…
MIND IT!” For fucks sake! What is more irritating than being grilled by someone who is a big mess and inquiring after somebody or something else? Please! Pull your shit together before worrying about what someone else or I am doing!
Who feels that?!
More recently, when I was working I encountered a person who enjoyed dressing up and acting like a human animal. I mean the whole enchilada; playing with animal toys, being spoken to with animal baby talk and on and on. I’ve seen this a million times before and couldn’t care less. What I discovered afterwards by a co-worker who insisted on telling me the gossip about this person was that they (the animal) were fighting for custody of their children. Now, my first thought was, “how in the hell are you roaming around acting like a kitty or puppy and don’t have custody of your own damn kids?” Wouldn’t getting custody of your children outweigh the need to play with a damn ball of yarn?
See this is why I’m not nosey or interested, because I’m too stunned by what inevitably gets uncovered. I say, let sleeping dogs lie and least said, soonest mended and if there is a human animal playing with a ball of yarn, walk on by. I’ve also learned, if you don’t want people in your business, pull your damn shades down at night.
But, definitely, keep your peepers peeped and check out my website and be sure and check out my latest release, The Birches that was just released with Seventh Window Publications. It’s all about food, men, and sex; what’s better than that? If you’re hungry, this is the story for you!
Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner. That is until he meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches. Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.
He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him.
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here. I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off. Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and--”
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.
Leo’s heart was pounding, what was it about this place, this man?
Where to find Xavier Axelson:
Great excerpt Xavier! Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today. And congratulations on the release of The Birches. I wish you every success with it and all your future projects!