Through My Window III

My elderly neighbor had her great granddaughters over today. They kept playing Britney Spears’, Oops! I Did It Again. About the second dozen times I listened to it, I wondered if the grownups in the house had gone deaf, and almost immediately I heard the little old lady query, “Honey, doesn’t that record have other songs on it?”

A girl’s voice responded, “It’s a CD, Granny.”

“Whatever,” the woman said irritably. “Does it have other songs?”

Girl: “Of course.”

Granny: “Well, then why don’t you play them?”

Murmurs of dismay came from several girls, while one voice clearly responded, “Because this is the one we like.”

Granny: “Oh joy.”

Shiny, Bright Red

Now appearing at, The Grownups Wanted Us DeadShiny, Bright Red, part two in the saga of Quilly and Rumble,  cousins with cause to kill.

Every evening before dinner, Rumble would stretch out on the living-room floor and take a nap. Often, to use as little floor space as possible, he put his feet next to me on my chair. A couple of nights after the peanut butter and jelly incident, Rumble stretched out on his back, put his feet near my thigh, and went out like a light.

I finished painting my fingernails a lovely pearl pink, then I capped the polish bottle and put it away. As soon as my nails were dry I reached back into my cosmetic case, and took out a bottle of fire engine red fingernail polish.

Click here for part one: The P.B. & J. Sandwich

The P. B. & J. Sandwich

Special Announcement:

OC and I were the guest readers this weekend at Waking Ambrose. Pop on over to Doug’s place and listen to Episode 11 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic.

You may now proceed to today’s post:

Sometimes not only the The Grownups Wanted Us Dead. On occasion we were quite content to kill each other.

I settled into bed wearing my customary night gown — one of my dad’s old t-shirts — and opened my psych book for a little studying. Gram was still in the living-room. She only had a few pages left of her novel, and wanted to finish it. We heard thunder on the stairs. I smirked, certain Rumble had found his P.B. & J. sandwich. I wasn’t worried. There was no way Gram would let him into my bedroom. I was safe . . . .

Through My Window II

There was a time in my life when contact with a drunk left me feeling angry and frustrated. During the first couple of years after my husband and I separated, I had to stay away from bars or other places drunks might congregate (like parties) because the sight of a drunken person would fill we with the incredible urge to grab him or her by the throat and demand, “Does your spouse know where you are? Are your children fed? Is your rent paid?”

As you can well imagine that kind of behavior would put a serious damper on a party. Not to mention that the answer was none of my business. So, I picked my friends carefully and avoided situations where I might find it necessary to accost somebody.

Time has healed the wounds that fueled my resentments. It’s a good thing, too, because I think I am the only sober person in my neighborhood. The weather is bright and warm and unseasonably sunny even for Vegas. The neighbors have shed their houses for the cooler comfort of outside.

Today the two neighbors across the street met at the fence separating their yards. They were discussing last night’s party. They each bragged on the amount of tequila they had drunk, and how they’d “put the others under the table.” I recognized the words of that conversation as part of a young adult ritual, but — although I rarely do this — I had to get up and go look out the window to confirm what my ears reported, because they were coming from the mouths of two little old ladies.

One of the little old ladies spent the afternoon outside with her family. Her most repeated sentence was, “Boy, bring me another.” She still calls her son, “Boy.” He is elderly, too. At one point he said, “You’ve had enough.” And she responded, “You not talk back to me, Boy!” I don’t know whether she got her drink or not, but she didn’t ask again.

A little later I heard her great grand-daughter say, “Granny, where are your teeth?” The old lady was surprised and upset to hear they weren’t in her mouth. The whole family searched the yard. The teeth were found — I know not where — and Granny demanded them back. The girl suggested they be washed first. Boy said, “Give’m to her dirty, she’s got enough disinfectant in her to kill any germs.”

Then somebody called, “Dinner,” and they all went in the house. The show is over for tonight — but, as Willie Nelson would sing, tomorrow starts the same old thing again.

It Must Be the Weather

I don’t know what’s up with my neighbors. They are all acting, well, neighborly. And I didn’t do a dang thing to encourage it.

Friday I came home and found a note on my door. I wasn’t surprised, driving in I’d seen many notes on many doors. I was expecting it to be something inconsequential from the new owners. They’d already reminded us about the parking rules, the laundry room hours, and the noise ordinance. This note however had consequence. All lawns with growth over three inches tall needed to be trimmed immediately, or they would be trimmed by the management and the resident would be charged a $45.00 fee.

The worst part of that is, I don’t have a lawn. I have a dirt lot. However, we’ve had a very wet winter, and my backyard is full of thistles between three and four feet tall. How was I supposed to get rid of them? Those suckers don’t just pull out of the ground. Their roots are at least as long as the plants are tall.

I wasn’t about to go buy a lawn mower or a weed-eater. First off, I’d only have reason to use it once or twice a year. Second, I am supposed to be moving this summer (still don’t know where!) and have put a moratorium on all buying. Anything I purchase will either have to be packed or sold — and I’ve already got enough selling to do. So, I figured that meant I would have to fork over bucks, and I grumbled at the thought.

As I came home from church today I noticed a lot of yards looking spiffy. I stepped from my car and could hear a Weedeater working away. As I sat at my computer I marveled at how close the Weedeater sounded. Seemed like it was practically in my backyard. Soon it sounded like it was in my front yard! I heard dirt and gravel hit my house. I got up and walked toward the door — just as the engine died and a knock sounded. I opened the door.

One of my neighbor’s, Doug, stood here, a Weedeater in one hand and a rake in the other. “I knocked’em down for ya,” he said. “After ya clean’em up, take the rake to my missus.” He turned away, flipped the Weedeater back on and moved to the next person’s yard.

When I walked down the block to return the rake to Doug’s wife, several other people were gathered at the fence. It seems Doug just couldn’t stand the thought of people having to pay big bucks for 10 minutes work, and he had nothing better to do with his Sunday afternoon, anyway. They refused any and all offers of money. “Just being neighborly,” they said.