Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NEIGHBORS

I preface this by saying I am not sure what attracts the insanely ridiculous to my life.  I really don't.  If I did, I would some how work it so that the insanely rugged, handsome, and single men of this world were instantly attracted to me and my life. 

Growing up, I had some wonderful neighbors:  Mr. Averill (ever the patient elderly man that would listen to the CRAZY stories I made up and then told him!), The Weavers (they had the awesome Dalmatian, Barney), Mrs. Gaskell (she always got us a Christmas present each year, and her grandkids became great friends!), The Konkles (hours of fun playing with Mandy and her siblings), The Dorlands (Mr. Dorland LOVED golf), the Knights, the Stellingworth's, The Beglins .... the list is long.  Suffice it to say, my childhood was filled with wonderful neighbors that were entertained by my antics, no doubt .... which, now that I think about it, might be why I am in the boat I am in currently.  I will let you, my dear readers, decide as you continue to read. My adult life and neighbors have been ... well, interesting, shall we say. 

There was the sweet couple that lived above me when I moved into my very first apartment.  The very sweet couple who were newlyweds.  Very sweet, young, newlyweds.  Y'all ... I've never been a newlywed, but y'all ... there were nights I felt like I needed a shower. I won't go into the details ... the LOUD, gory details.  Suffice it to say, well, what can you say?  Soon enough, though, they moved out to pursue Masters degrees, and a retired nun moved in.  We had lovely theological conversations, she and I did. And I didn't have to worry about X-rated evenings. 

My next apartment was across the street from my first apartment and right next door to a boarding house, of sorts, for, shall we say, the wee bit crazy?  I had a stalker at that apartment.  He'd come out when he saw my pull up and start to walk toward me. I kept crazy hours being that I was 25ish, and young, and social and out a lot. After one particularly scary incident, my dad reported it to a police officer friend of his, and I started looking for a new place. 

My third rental property was next to a place called HAIR JOY.  Not even joking here, folks.  The lady who lived there did not appear to be all there in the head department, but she ran a hair salon out of her house.  Mind you, her hair looked like something exploded in it, which might account for the scant amount of customers coming in and out of HAIR JOY.  Her son made up for the business by dealing drugs out of the house.  There is nothing better in this world, than falling asleep on your sofa late on a summer evening (front door wide open, with only the screen door for protection), only to be awakened by people running past your door, and a police officer hollering, "GET DOWN ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD."  Like a scene ripped from the pages of COPS.  I swear!

My fourth rental property was in a better part of town, but was not without its adventures. I mean, the guy that lived next door to me grew pot in his basement (or had a meth lab ... one of the two)!  There were always very interesting characters going in and out of that place.  My dad thought I was crazy, until, after I'd moved to Kentucky, they went up to check on the house, and witnessed police and people all over the house carrying stuff out.  Turns out, dude lost the house, and when the bank went up to clean it out, what did they find?  Drugs and drug paraphernalia!  Need I say more?

My fifth place was here in Kentucky, and I have to admit, it wasn't without its quirky neighbors ... like the guy who sold drugs out of his apartment in the building next door (another late night run across the yard with police yelling and stuff...I detect a theme, no?). 

My current house, the one I own, has been, by far, in the best neighborhood I've lived in (not that the other neighborhoods weren't bad).  I have lovely elderly neighbors who are quiet and never have loud parties. Okay, my neighbor across the street invites her "80s Ladies"  (her name for them not mine) over for rocking games of Bridge and BUNCO, but they are done by 5 p.m., so I never have to worry about raves and stuff. My neighbor next door to me always complains that he never sees me.  Dude is ALWAYS on the go.  But he's precious, and he's promised to share some of his homegrown tomatoes with me.  They are just beautiful, beautiful people.  Insert screeching tires here, folks. 

My first experience with a crazy neighbor hereto and forever more referred to as Hairy Man, in this new neighborhood occurred on my very first night in this house.  Y'all, I can't even explain the excitement and trepidation I had moving into this house.  I mean, it was MY house ... well, 30 years of payments, and it's mine.  But still.  I was responsible for it. It's care and maintenance and stuff.  So, there I was, in the middle of what looked like an explosion of STUFF.  My friends, the people that moved alllllll that stuff from one place to another, the same ones that complained about the amount of STUFF I had (granted, it was A LOT), had all left, and I was in amongst all my stuff, and I hear this obnoxious banging on my back door.  Like "POLICE, OPEN UP" banging.  It wasn't the police.  It was the neighbor behind me ... well, one half of the neighbors behind me.  I opened the door and was greeted with "Shut your damn light off....it's shining in my bedroom and none of us can sleep." 

I was so annoyed by her greeting that while she was trying to walk down my back steps, I did just that, shut my damn light off. 

I decided to apologize a few days later... just to show them I was the bigger person and was actually a friendly neighbor.  Hairy Man cracked a smile in response, the only one I saw him crack in the three years they lived behind me. 

My attempts to be friendly and neighbor with them came to an abrupt halt when two things occurred:
1. Hairy Man revealed the reason he was so named.
2. Hairy Man's family revealed to me they were really very, very, very odd.

Hairy Man, in the time I knew him, had an aversion to clothes.  Specifically, he didn't appear to like shirts.  I came to this conclusion because every time he came home from work, he stripped the shirt off, revealing the carpet that covered his chest and back.  Y'all, that man NEVER WORE A SHIRT.  What's more, he loved nothing better than to run outside and watch me mow my lawn ... without his shirt on.  AND, AND he would rub his carpeted belly while watching me.  Now, lest you think that he was the only one that fell into the category of weird, I would, at this juncture, like to point out that the WHOLE family would come out and watch me mow. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I. MOWED.  I will never know why they did this, as they moved out two Christmases ago. 

It might be that northerners mow differently than southerners. 

Perhaps I sweat more than most.

It could be that a had a zip in my step ... although, I highly doubt that. I HATE to mow.  Loathe it.  More than likely, I looked (and still do) like a hippo pushing a wagon full of the world's burdens. 

Not going to lie, I had a little celebration when the Hairy Man family moved out.  I really did.  Life in the 'hood was going along swimmingly, too, until I began summer break ... and the dude on the street behind me began his singing career. 

And by career, I mean, DUDE!  Go for plan B!!!

I've come to the following conclusions about Singer Dude:
1. He's a drunk.
OR
2. He's mentally unstable.
OR
3. He's both.
OR, and this is a real stretch,
4. He really does think he has talent. 

If #4 is the case, some one needs to right the wrong that has been done there, because I am here to tell you, Singer Dude does not have talent. None.  Zero.  Zip. Nada. What he has is the ability to make your ear drums want to pack it up and move to an isolated island some where in Siberia. 

This guy has, for three weeks now, been playing 80s Hair Band songs on his deck while he caterwauls along with Bon Jovi, Steven Tyler, Brett Michaels ... I mean the list is endless and fraught with variety. 

I will say, sitting out on the deck right now, I have heard someone throwing a lot of glass bottles away.  So, I am going to conclude that Singer Dude likes his libations, which is sad, because, really, he needs help.  Someone, please provide him with help!

Again, I am not sure what has attracted all of these crazies to my life, other than it gives me great stories to share with you all ... and fodder for future books.

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