Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Quaint Vignettes From My Charming Rural Idyll

Well, I've made friends with the neighborhood crackhead, and I have to say, he's a nice fella.  He and his dog come up the sidewalk every day, around two in the afternoon or so, and we have a friendly conversation, and we play with the dog, and it's nice.  Then he goes up two apartment complexes, cops at the third one, and comes back down the sidewalk about forty-five minutes later screaming on his cell phone at....somebody, about...stuff.  His dog takes this all pretty philosophically.  If I'm out, he'll break off the crazy for half a second and go 'Hey! Still outside, huh? See ya!' and go right back to shouting gibberish into his phone. 

My house seems to be his midway point, where he builds his rant up into it's grand peak.  He'll be out there posturing and playing to the cheap seats, declaiming and flapping away, and children, there is corn growing across the street. Corn.  An acre of corn.  I live in a town that just passed the 4 digit population mark and there is corn growing across the street and the only crackhead in town is flapping away out there, just street as hell, motherfucking and I gone smash that pussy, all shit, nigga, and...corn.

Corn.

There is corn.

 Many evenings my husband and I will be sitting here and he'll be right outside on the sidewalk, flailing and gesticulating and shouting, while his dog sits patiently and waits for him to work it out.  Then he goes on his way, still exclaiming.  It's like knowing two completely different people who own the same dog and have the same tattoos.

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As part of the 'We're sorry' package my husband got for being told that he was going to be out of work by next....February?  June?  Who knows? he was given a $200.00 gift card.  Visa.  Spend it anywhere.  So he and I took a weekend to go to our happy place, which is Anacortes, WA.  We stayed in 'our' hotel, and ate at 'our' little hideaway, and....slept.  And hung out in our room watching television.  We each had our own king sized bed to starfish in, there was a kitchenette, and we napped, ate crap from Safeway, and napped some more.  Yes, WE know how to party.  I have never needed to get out of town so bad or had such a relaxing vacation in my life.

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I went out and bought myself a new hedge trimmer because I'm 60 and I get to use power tools.  I went through all the wilted stuff in the front yard like Grim Death, and now that I've got a look at what's been happening at dirt level I can lever up some stuff that's been bugging the crap out of me.  (I'm a Vita SackvilleWest follower - if you don't like it, rip it out.  And I'm rippin'.)  Now that the smoke has cleared and we've had a couple of rains, my campaign of Death is proceeding with resounding success.

But the best thing?  Is that the season has changed, and it's cool enough and dry enough now at night to sleep.  This is the last year I go without an air conditioner.  Period. This winter, when they're cheap, I'm gonna get one of those little room sized ones that you hang on the wall and never look back because I'M 60 AND I GET TO HAVE AIR CONDITIONING.

12 comments:

Ms Scarlet said...

I should really do some ripping out of stuff I don't like in the garden, but it'd be like having a paddle in the mud. I think Vita Sackville West was quite right.
You have a neighbour that can cover all neighbourly roles - someone who you can chat with, and someone who provides alternative entertainment.
Sx

anne marie in philly said...

NO ONE should be without an air conditioner! your vacation sounds SO relaxing in a very pretty place. and is the crackhead mentally ill?

Bob said...

I'm a very goo garden and yard ripper. I need to simplify the yard so the maintenance takes less time. Plus, it's kinda cathartic ....

savannah said...

I am not a gardener. I am the person who pays someone to be the gardener. I have plenty of IDEAS about a garden and I watch Monty don religiously, but that's the extent of my hand to dirt experience.

Your neighbor sounds as if he's going to become a real PITA eventually. But, then again, I'm in my I WANT QUIET period.

Be well, sweetpea! xoxo

P.s. Yes, get an air conditioner for next season!

63mago said...

Garden ?
Why not a nice, carefree parking lot ?

So you are turning into a senior citizen, silver ager, or is you a "golden girl" ?
Now you deserve some little luxury like airconditioned weed.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Jekyll and Hyde there with that tats and the dog. But as long as he's pleasant to you, no problem, right?

I hate gardening, yard work and shovelling snow (mostly because I have chronic back and knee pain ~ arthritis). I cannot wait to sell this little cracker box that I (meaning mostly the bank) own. I own lots of power tools, and I have central A/C! Can't survive the summers here without A/C, as it gets hot and humid. The winters are cold and dry. I can't afford to pay someone to do all the outside work for me. So I do what I have to, own lots of power tools, and have my name on the waiting list at the apartment block I want to live in next year.

Glad you like getting down and dirty! :-)

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Ms Scarlet: There, you have it exactly. My neighbor is truly a nice dude. He loves his dog, and spends hours out in the field next door training the dog, humane and kind, and just tussling around, and it's wonderful. Then he gets around a little tiktik and gets that candlewaxy-crack sheen, and comes back emoting. It just fascinates me that I'm the person who breaks through his temporary psychosis enough for a friendly small-town exchange of greetings.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

anne marie in philly: not at all, not from what I can tell. He has the kind of institutionalized personality of someone who's been...well, in an institution, like the military, or prison. He's cheerful and appropriate and friendly. No, he just been on the pipe for a little too long. It goes straight to that 'crazy as fuck' place in his brain and works itself out.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Bob: Man, nothing like it. You're out there in amongst all the freshly-minted oxygen, with the lil' bees and the plants and the leaves, playing in the dirt, making free atmosphere for your neighbors to breathe, keeping things looking nice...What I've been doing is taking out the big swathes of single-season color. So, like, I have a big patch of bluebell - slash! Rend! Destroy! Begone, you...bluebells, you! And what I get in return is another place I can take my riding lawnmower through next year, which I'd much rather do than be on my damn hands and knees giving blowjo-pulling weeds out next to the road all summer.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Savannah: I had to look up Monty Don and now I have to find him and watch a show or two. My garden god for many, many years was good ol' Ed Hume. I remember watching that dude when I was still in footie pajamas. As for Crackhead Neighbor, God love him, he'll be gone as soon as Fall gets underway in earnest and he can't get outside. I seen 'em come, I seen 'em go. Fall in the far North of the PNW always takes them away. Not before they get naked in public at least once, of course. Yup. Every year, same apartment complex, different crackheads, that indoor dry heat gets to them and they gotta run outside with their junk unfettered and get some fresh air all on it. In fact that's the act that usually gets them taken to other places. Circle of liiiiiiiiife....

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

63Mago: I will always be your golden girl! And I'll always be out in the garden ripping stuff out or putting stuff in, so I'll be a DIRTY golden girl. Your favorite type! Now I gotta figure out the air-conditioned weed comment. I should air condition the weed, or I should be doing the weed in where there's air conditioning? Or is there actual 'air-conditioned weed' for sale that nobody told me about?

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

You are gonna have the garage sale of the century and I'm gonna want to go to it and mop all your old gardening stuff, but I don't know where you live and I'd get lost and shit. CRAP. I know about the joints and back and stuff...I practically live on aspirin. Just plain old aspirin. And Bloody Marys. I tell myself it's healthy if I make it with V8.