“I couldn't live a week without a private library
- indeed, I'd part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor
before I'd let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.” ― H.P. Lovecraft

Whistling In The Graveyard: April 17, 2005

Sunday, April 17, 2005

So I’m pissed.

Wednesday Jay mows the lawn. It’s the first time it’s been mowed this season. It could have waited a little longer, but it was pretty shaggy and our asshole neighbors had already complained a few times.

So Jay is cutting it and Jr. starts bugging him about the trimming around the fence, which Jay had intended to do just not the same day. Jay simply said something to the effect of “I’ve got it handled” but Jr. had a guy there with a weed eater that wanted to cut it for money.

Jr. and Cathy are the neighbors that like to complain that my roommates and the people that come visit cuss them out and shit. Every time we speak to one of them we get a new outrageous story about something one of us supposedly did that slighted them in some way. We don’t like them and we avoid them as much as possible. This pretty much means not going outside in the daytime. Thing is, I’m pretty sure they know we don’t like them or at least we don’t want to associate with them, so they take every opportunity to find shit to bitch about. Well we’ve gotten so good at avoiding them that our lawn is the only thing they can come up with.

Apart from the fact that they make up shit about what goes on over here and they call my Mom to tell her about the status of my lawn, and they keep threatening to call city code enforcement on us all the time and they’re basically just repellent people, there is one thing about Jr. that I absolutely cannot stand. He’s one of those people where when you try to talk to them about anything they’ve done it better and faster and more often than you ever will. You can’t reason with him or try to explain anything because he has it in his head that he’s the smartest person alive and he’s doing you a favor by droning on for an hour about why he’s better than you.

The only reason I ever talk to him at all is because, like it or not, I have to live next to the fucking prick so I try to keep things civil. This mostly entails nodding and agreeing and trying to keep from swallowing your own tongue to escape the landslide of complete and utter bullshit he spews at you.

Well today as I’m coming in the back way after putting the car in the garage he calls me over and he’s obviously agitated. He tells me a bunch of horseshit about how rude Jay was to him and how Jay was screaming at him so loud that people three houses down heard the noise.

This is an example of the aforementioned horseshit.

First of all, in the absence of any other evidence I know this is a lie simply because I’ve known Jay for 17 years and I know that he wouldn’t do that. Jay is too laid back. I’m sure he was pissed, I KNOW he was pissed, but that’s not how Jay reacts.

But what makes this horseshit indisputable is the fact that I was sitting in the living room less than 30 yards away with the back door open. If people three doors down would have heard it then I would have heard it. And I didn’t hear shit.

So he goes on for an hour about how he shouldn’t be treated that way and how he’s worked hard his whole life. This is more bullshit. He’s been on government disability for at least the last 20 years. I know this because he's lived next to this house for that long.

Hell, pretty much anything he or his bitch wife says is a blatant lie. At least I think she’s his wife. I don’t really want to know what their living arrangement is; I just can’t imagine anyone living with that woman if they didn’t absolutely have to. The thing is, having worked with kids with questionable mental skills and sanity I’m pretty good at spotting a lie. There are physical and verbal clues when someone is lying to you. You can’t always see them, but if they go on long enough you can start to pick up on them.

Thing is, as these two go on talking they will eventually contradict themselves. I can’t really call this catching them in a lie, because the physical and verbal clues aren’t there. I get the distinct semi-professional (I have studied psychology) opinion that they actually believe what they’re saying.

This means one of two things.

Either A) They’re two of the best liars on the planet, which is not likely since they can’t keep a story straight. Or B) They’re bat-shit insane.

I’m leaning towards insane.

In support of the insanity theory I present this incident that happened THE SAME FUCKING DAY.

I gave the guy Jr. recommended $5 to do the weed eating around the border of my house. I can’t really afford to pay people to do yard work right now, but I did it this once just to shut Jr. up. I figured $5 was a small price to pay for that.

So I go in the house and stay there because I didn’t want to in any way encourage anyone to keep talking to me. Fat chance since now that I’ve given someone money for a yard chore they’ll be beating down my door for the rest of the summer. This wouldn’t be a problem if my budget wasn’t as tapped as it is. I tried to explain this to Jr., but of course, he’s got things far worse than I do and he keeps his yard cut, etc… I’m sure he’s telling the whole neighborhood I’m loaded too. That’ll help.

The weed eater guy is Ok. I’ve talked to him a few times and I can tell he needed the money. On top of that, he did a good job, so no complaints there.

Well some years ago, when my Grandmother lived here, we but up a roll of fence around her property. It stood there for some time, till someone coming down George Street hung the corner too fast and destroyed the front of the fence and part of the front porch. This is far more common around here than you might think. So my uncle has really nice chain link fence put in the front and back of the property, but not the sides. On the sides they leave the old fence, which was still in good shape, and they wire it to the new fence.

Jr. and Cathy put wooden privacy fence on two sides of their property. They left it open on Grandma’s side because they were hoping to talk her into paying for half of the fence they put on her side. That’s not a guess or speculation either. They ASKED her to pay for half of it. I guess they were figuring my Uncle would pay for it. Well he didn’t, and now there’s no obstruction between out two yards.

Oh God how I wish there was an obstruction.

So the butt-end of their privacy fence meets up in the middle of a five-foot section of my wire fence. Their fence has a gate, but for some reason they don’t use it. They, and everyone else in the neighborhood, bend MY fence to slide around the butt-end of THEIR fence. In that, they’re damaging my property and trespassing.

Why have I never complained? Because they’re fucking nuts and I know if I complain they’ll have the cops over here every week about some new offense they imagine we’ve visited upon them.

In any event, I’ve been meaning to fix the fence, but given that I’m trying like hell to keep my bills paid my fence and lawn are pretty low on the priority list.

Well I got out through the back after the weed eating is done and the yard looks great, but the five-foot section of fence that was previously bent inward on my side to allow for foot traffic was now bent all the way back to where the fence was touching itself.

I was willing to accept that perhaps that had been done so the fence could be mowed under. I was in a hurry, I figured that when I got home I was finally going to have to fix the fence. It wasn’t that big a deal; it was only bent right?

I come back home fifteen or twenty minutes later. The five-foot section of fence has been cut off and it’s laying in the alley behind my property.

Yeah.

So I call my Mom and ask her if perchance the neighbors had called her or Grandma and asked if they could cut a four-foot by five-foot hole in the fence. I knew they hadn’t, but I wanted to be sure. I explained the situation to Mom and told her to stay next to the phone as I might soon need bail money and I head out into the back yard.

Mysteriously, the neighbors are absent.

So I take a couple pictures of the damaged fence with my digital camera, which I’ll post when I find a way to get my camera software to work with Windows NT PRO. I was also going to take a picture of the piece of fence that was cut off, but in the fifteen minutes I was in the house someone had walked off with it.

I inspect the area. There’s now a clear path through my fence for people to walk around their fence. I note that while I’m doing this is the first time I’d been in my back yard without having to talk to Jr. and Cathy since the weather got warm.

In the garage there were pieces of the fence left over from when we originally put it in, so I get a ten-foot section and fix the fence. It wasn’t easy with the hernia. I almost puked more than once from the minimal effort the repair took, but I fixed it good and tight. The path is now closed. Well as I’m finishing up Cathy comes outside. She says hello, gives me a funny look and goes back inside. Sure enough, I soon have Jr. giving me his indisputable opinion on things.

He comes out and says “Yeah, I was going to put you up a new piece of fence there. You’re old one was too short.” Yeah, that’s right, it’s MY fault they decided to cut a fucking hole in my fence. Still not wanting to talk to him, and noting that he never admitted to actually having done it, I just say “Yeah, well it’s fixed now.”

I didn’t directly ask him if he did it because I didn’t have to. He would deny having done it or knowing who did. I’m pretty sure he didn’t do it himself because it would have been too much like fucking work. He probably had one of the locals do it for him, possibly in exchange for the piece that’s now missing. That might sound a little odd, but you need to see the alleyway. It looks like a goddamn shanty-town. I’m sure whoever took that piece of fence has incorporated in into their kinetic sculpture of a house already.

I did ask him if he saw who carried off the missing piece of fence.

Of course he didn’t. They had both been inside. At the same time. In the daylight hours. For the first time in two weeks.

And I just let it all go.

Call it Zen or whatever, but anger directed towards that kind of ignorance is spiritually worthless and would ultimately accomplish nothing. They’re too crazy to see that they were wrong and too fucking stupid to know not to do it again.

Still, I guess I should have called the cops.

That’s right, the story isn’t over yet.

See, last night (Saturday) I go to a friend’s house for a housewarming party where a good time was had by all. Cards were played, food was eaten, alcohol was drank. I sampled the drink of the night, but didn’t have too much as I’m on medication again. They called it a ‘Green Screw’, and while I don’t know the exact proportions it contained Sprite, orange juice Blue Hawaiian, and a copious amount of Vodka. This makes kind of a viscous, green alcoholic syrup. It wasn’t bad.

Anyways, I’m explaining everything that has happened thus far to my friends when one of the people I’d just met mentions that he lives near me.

Stupidly, I continue talking.

By the end of the long, twisted story I’m explaining to some of the more inebriated members of the audience just which neighbors I’m referring to. The new guy goes “Oh yeah, I know them. You don’t like them?”

So I may have just started some shit. Well, THEY started it, I just fired back.

Stay tuned, this may get interesting.