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It is in my best interest I remain polite with the chronically loquacious security guard in my community. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. If he’s at the gate (and he’s always at the gate), I have to courteously tolerate his meandering conversation until he is satisfied, and opens the gate. Sometimes 7 or 8 minutes might pass before he pushes the button that facilitates my escape.

As such, each night I must pass by the guard gate and hope against all hope that he’ll open it without motioning for me to lower the window, and engage in an otherwise long-winded conversation about nothingness. Ironically, he sometimes talks about the fact that it’s 10:30pm, and isn’t it a shame I’m coming home so late? He often tells me he bets I’m anxious to get home.

He’s very observant. Yes! I am anxious to get home and sneak a kiss on my sleeping kids’ cheeks, pull my sleeping husband off the couch, and crawl into bed. The last thing I want to do after a day of toil is engage in polite inane conversation with a lonely and bored security guard.

I know he has hours of solitude in his little gatehouse to contend with. But, I do think I’ve done right by the universe and respected his need to talk. These days my sanity is at stake. I need to get a gate clicker or program the car to open the gate.

Despite all this, here’s what makes me smile each time he opens that heavenly gate: I am certain any person of ill intent that attempts to get through him will be stopped dead in their tracks; and once they endure the garrulous diatribe of our gatekeeper, they will absolutely never come back.

February 18, 2010