So, our next door neighbor knocked on our door one evening not long ago. We don’t know him, or them, very well at all, and in fact don’t usually speak. We maybe wave once in a while, but more often than not don’t even do that.

He wanted us to sign a permission form that the city we live in requires if you do any substantial remodeling of your home. Well, it’s not exactly a permission form, but a notification form — to let your neighbors know that work will be done, and, possibly, noise will be made. We had to get our neighbors to sign the same form when we had our roof replaced several years ago.

Anyway, my wife signed my name on the form. Now, the neighbor has gotten all friendly, which is fine, except I don’t know his name. Every time I go out front when he’s out, he shouts, “Hi Tim!” or “How ya doing, Tim?” and I just go, er, “Hey, how are you?” or, just now, “Good evening,” trying to sound cheery and nonchalant and, like, of course I know your name. I’ve even made several attempts to avoid him lately. Last week, pulling up to my house after work I saw that he, too, had just gotten home and was gathering up his mail. I turned right, drove around the block, and came back after he was gone.

This happens fairly often at concerts, too. I’m not bad with names, generally, but more folks know my name at concerts than I do theirs, just because of the position I’m in. Even if at one point I have known the person’s name, it may have been six months or years since I last saw him or her and, sorry, the name is just no longer in my memory bank. I feel stupid, and try not to show that I do.

I attempted to find the neighbor’s name online, by looking up his address. No luck. I’ve toyed with the idea of peeking at his mail, but haven’t done it yet. I think I’ll ask the guy across the street, whose name I know, to see if he knows my neighbor’s name. But I bet he won’t.