Ground Control to Neighbor Tom

I’m holding down the fort tonight. A. is playing a show, I’m home with sleeping Birdy, after rushing to meet a friend and her little one at the park to walk, rushing home, rushing to the bar/restaurant where A. is playing, and eating delicious food at lightning speed, since Birdy was getting sleepy and grabby. I had to give away most of a glass of wine on the way out the door, because it was TIME TO GO, according to Bird. And now I am home.

With Birdy exhausted and asleep upstairs, I sat on the back porch and drank a beer! And smoked two cigarettes! in my pj’s with my big clumsy dogs. Just like old times. It’s a nice night, it was a beautiful moment. (This moment inspired, in part, by Maria’s blog about doing kind of the same thing.)

My next door neighbor had some friends over, and they were drinking and smoking on their back porch. We’re separated by a privacy fence, which made for some undercover eavesdropping. Here’s what I heard:

“I mean, I wasn’t in jail THAT long. And they fuckin’ fired me. I’ve been at that school for ten fuckin’ years.”

“I mean, fuck, you know, I got DIVORCED and this is fuckin’ worse.”

(other dude): “I mean, wow, I mean FUCK, man, if that ever happened to me I don’t know what I do, I mean, FUCK, that’s your whole life that’s FUCKED, man.” (very supportive.)

“I mean, if I HAD coke in the car, I wouldn’t have gotten pulled over, man. This is such BULLFUCKINGSHIT.”

More blah blah blah, drunken slurring, etc., and then a verbal loan of $6,000. I wonder how that will turn out.

I don’t know if it was my neighbor, who is a teacher at a Junior High in an affluent area, who did the time. Could have been one of his teacher buddies– they all sounded the same– but I do know that I haven’t seen that guy in quite a while before tonight.

Two short stories about this neighbor:
When he first moved in next door, I saw him in the ghetto grocery, trashed. He came up to me and said, “Hey, you’re my neighbor. Where’s the salsa?”

After he’d been there about a year, we had friends staying with us from out of town, and we were right in the middle of explaining how the neighborhood looks kind of shady but it’s really okay. In the middle of that conversation, a cab pulled up in front of our house and a big guy got out, and started stumbling around in our front yard, and eventually fell over, face down in the grass. Of course, the four of us were staring out a lit window into the dark, and saw him get up, look at us, and stumble over to his own yard. It was that dude, and he had the wrong house.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very nice guy. I hope it wasn’t him who was arrested for driving and possibly having coke on his person, especially since he’s likely a very good teacher. And he helps me find the cat when he gets out.

Here’s to neighbor Tom.

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