Love Thy Neighbour

Entry by: Clock Free

20th June 2016
When Eamon went home to see his mother in Waterford, he was happy when she told him that her new neighbours, who were Sikhs, had been helping her out from time to time. Though it still seemed to confuse and worry her that here she was in the Ireland where she'd lived all her life, and her old neighbours had all gone to care homes or their graves and had been replaced by Poles and Asians and Latvians. Eamon reminded her that it was at least 10 years since Old Claire and Mary and the O'Brien's had gone, and what's more, back in London, he too was a foreigner, that was the way of the world now and a good way it was, when you thought about it.

'Under the skin, mam,we're all the same. A drop of their blood looks exactly the same as as drop of yours, after all.'

She called the couple next door 'Mr and Mrs Ravi,' but what she called them may not have been quite right, because her memory was no longer strong. 'Mr Ravi brings me my 'Mail,' indeed he knows I can't get out the house, but look now I must owe him... I'm not sure, Eamon, it's been a few weeks. Now, would you go and sort it out with Mr Ravi...'

Eamon knocked on the door, which was painted a lovely, glossy blue. When Mr Ravi opened the door, Eamon introduced himself as Mrs G's son who'd come to settle up for the newspapers. Mr Ravi took Eamon's hand and shook it warmly, cupping it in fact in both hands, and told him what a sweet woman his mam was. He used that word 'mam.' Eamon thumbed through his wallet and drew out 50 euros, but Mr Ravi shook his head in amused horror and put up his two hands. 'No. It's a privilege to be able to help out your mam.'

Later, Eamon left a potted orchid on the front step with a card, with more flowers on the front. He liked the way the petals looked, set down there by the blue door, and when a black cat came and brushed sensuously against the shiny pot, he took out his phone and snapped, and he tweeted the shot, with the words 'Thank you, Mr Ravi.'

And then, he tweeted 'Love thy neighbour' which even if no-one at all noticed, he thought would make some kind of small difference.