We have a neighbour across the road who is almost painfully shy and reserved. We run into him often, and always greet him with a wave or a flash of the eyebrows, but in all the years we’ve lived here, we have never said more than two words to each other.
I don’t have a problem with this. I’ve never taken to the sort of enforced bonhomie we all feel compelled to express with people who are often in our orbit but not actually our friends. Quiet neighbours suit me, and besides, if he turns out to be a serial killer, I can deliver the required lines to the visiting press with real conviction; “He was such a quiet man. Never caused any problems.”