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The Guy Next Door

Updated on March 20, 2018

I moved to the city of Kankakee almost 2 yrs ago. I live in a rather small one bedroom apartment. In a part of town that isn’t totally terrible but it could be nicer. I’ve learned where I can and cannot walk alone; especially since I’m only a quarter of a century old and still look like a young school girl in her teens.

But it’s not horrible for my first time out on my own. The problem is not all of my family feels the same about where I currently reside. I find that small and inexpensive is invaluable to me at this point in my life. I am saving money to better my surroundings here in the near future.


I learned today that the problem is I’ve never gotten to know the people around me. Today I met my neighbor who resides in the white river house. Not as fancy a place as it sounds. His name is Jabe; that’s babe with a j. I’ll admit I’d seen him and his brother around but I’d never spoken with either guy. Today I learned who Jabe is.

Jabe needed a ride to the bus stop. He saw me headed to my car got my attention and a few moments later he was on his way to the bus stop. Now I know not to pick up hitchhikers but I’m not sure this falls into the same category when you’re giving your middle-aged neighbor a ride to a bus stop. But all the same, if she reads this my mom will give me a good lecture later. Truth is I did it because I am an adult now who made a conscious decision to help a man in need. What I came to learn is that I am not the only one on the block with an interesting job.

Jabe and I had a short chat on the way to the bus stop where I was to drop him off. I learned that the not so sour guitar notes that emanate from the windows of their house are all his. He plays acoustic and the electric guitar. If what he said was all truth he is also a drummer and pianist. He has been in a few bands as both a drummer and a guitarist.


Today his car went in the shop broken down again; a common occurrence for musicians who haven't made the cover of Rolling Stone and sold millions of albums. That being said Jabe was not about to let his car troubles hold him back. He was on his way to another town to listen to a band in a bar. He heard this band play back up before and was hoping to score them for an upcoming gig. It's what he does he tells me; he travels around playing with bands and listening to bands. Not a bad gig for a middle age man to make his living doing what, just by my observation puts a smile on his face.

I may have let it slip that I am relearning to play my guitar a skill a let slip away for a few years of my life that once brought a smile to my own face. It was once a great testament to my ability to handle my ADD and a much-needed outlet for my life problems. Jabe kindly offered lessons or even to have a jam session some time. He said he has turned many a clumsy fingered player into rock gold and currently has been using his free time to teach his 7 yr old granddaughter how to rock out on the drums.

Giving a ride to a strange neighbor is one thing but going to his house is another; although lessons are not a bad idea for someone in my shoes. If there is one thing I know with this new found independence it is single white young females do not go into the house of neighbors they don't really know. Maybe if it was a more trustworthy venue I would be more apt to consider his offer. But hey who knows what this new encounter may do for my life here in the city of Kankakee.


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