Serial Story Prompt: If We Already Knew Everything About Everybody, Part # 3

(This story is part of an experimental Serial Story Prompt. See details at the end of this piece.)

Ellen B. Marshall
6 min readFeb 19, 2021
What Would the Neighbors Think? Photo by Ellen B. Marshall, 2021

What’s Knowable?

One thing that would disappear, if we already knew everything about everybody is the worrisome adage — What Would The Neighbors Think? Nothing describes ricochet reasoning like this little guilt-trip. In a world where we already know what Mr. & Ms. Neighbors think, there would be no point in telling a story.

Because if they had they observed me and Richard out by that construction dumpster the other day, chatting, or maybe re-kindling something we had going when we parted 50 years ago — they would already know the full story.

Here’s what this state of All-Knowing-ness would reveal.

“Richard, might you be able to spot me while I dig two pallets out of a dumpster on Limestone Street?” I had called him on the phone. It had been nearly half a century since we’d shared even this many words. I’m a recently returned expat, moved back to my hometown after a slow ricochet between the US coasts.

“Well what time did you have in mind?” He did not ask for an explanation. Maybe no need to. Our Know-Everything…



Ellen B. Marshall

Learning Project Design Ideas. Images. Words. Music. Intentional Peer Support Community Development in the domains of health, education, and employment.