Warm with just a sprinkling of rain, it was a pleasant Thursday afternoon. I was strolling along the streets in my neighborhood when I happened upon an unfamiliar face. She smiled at me, and I greeted her with charming vernacular.

She explained that she was new to the area and thought her neighbors didn’t like her. They did not seem to understand her ways at all.

Determined to reassure her, I introduced myself at length, explaining how I, myself, have been living around here all my life and had even perhaps risen to some level of importance in the community. I was sure, I said, that people looked up to me as perhaps one of the key contributors to the lovely neighborhood.

She asked me why.

Well, I answered, I believed that I symbolized intelligence, that the more I was seen about the neighborhood, the smarter and more sophisticated the neighborhood itself seemed.

She asked me for my name. I gave it to her, and in polite turn asked for hers.

“Brevity,” she answered.

I don’t think we’ll get along.

View this story's 12 comments.