30 October 2009

Something 4 The Weekend # 141

I've lived in one half of a side-by-side duplex for the past 12 years...These are just a few of my neighbors...

Kelly lived by herself, although her boyfriend "visited" most weekends, totally wired on crack, and beat her pretty fucking hard. I was her "safe house" until the cops showed, for awhile, until I finally told her I wouldn't do it anymore. I told her I wasn't helping her, really, because the only solution was for her to get as far away from this guy as possible. Besides, I didn't really like having 2 or 3 cops in my house at 3am on such a regular basis. Otherwise, Kelly was pretty cool. Yeah, she liked to do a line or three of blow on a Friday and/or Saturday night herself, and she liked her red wine, but she also baked the moistest brownies I've ever had, and she insisted on always mowing the lawn (a shared responsibility in the duplex) because she said it was like meditation for her. I understood. Dishwashing. Kelly lived on the other side for the first two years I lived there, until moving out without any notice one day. By that point her boyfriend was in jail for burglary, but I like to think Kelly is living somewhere near an ocean, with him completely in her past.

Carl couldn't hold a job. It might be because all he owned were basketball uniforms, literally, but more likely it had to do with his hardcore addiction to World Of Warcraft - 36+ hour marathons at a time, and he had the mountain of Red Bull cans to prove it...Carl stole my lawn mower and gas can when he moved out suddenly one day, which I found rather amusing because he never mowed the lawn once in the year he lived here . The landlord told me he owed 3 months back rent when he split.

Pam was pretty cool. She was a single, 40-something long-haul truck driver who chain smoked Virginia Slims and chain drank Rum'n'Diet Cokes, and had the voice to prove it...Her and I were starting to fool around a bit (just the back hallway and two doors between us), as slightly drunk and totally single neighbors are wont to do. It wasn't a bad thing because she was on the road 4-6 days a week, and both of us really liked the loose, casual nature of it all. The sloppy beej on the washing machine was a particularly memorable evening...Then her elderly mom in Des Moines got sick, and she moved back home to take care of her. We kept in touch for a year or so, and then we didn't...

Connie was a college co-ed. During the first week she lived on the other side, she was washing her car in the driveway when I came home for lunch, and I introduced myself and talked to her just long enough to find out she was from Green Bay, majoring in biology, that she liked Hip Hop and painted her toenails lime green. During the next year she lived there I only talked to her one more time when she came down to the basement while I was doing laundry one evening, and we talked just long enough for me to learn she spent most of her nights at her boyfriend's place, closer to campus, and that she totally promised to mow the lawn the next week. I briefly imagined getting a sloppy beej from Connie, which made me think of Pam. I kinda missed her. Anyways, Connie never did mow the lawn, and then moved out a month or so later. She stole my laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softener sheets and a laundry basket that (believe or not) had sentimental value. She left behind a toaster oven and a beat-up 10-speed bike.

Bob was a 50-ish fork lift driver at Oscar Mayer who drank a heroic amount of beer with his nephew, Matt, and watched ESPN and porn exclusively. I thought he was a pretty innocuous guy until I discovered him stealing my electricity one day - running a heavy-duty extension cord from my outlet in the basement up the stairs, and under his back door to his side of the house. I yanked the cord from my outlet, and banged on his door. Even though I could hear ESPN through the door, Bob didn't answer. Bob did a remarkable job of avoiding me, and then about two days later, I found him once again stealing my electricity. Same runaround, except this time, I took digital, time-stamped photographs of the dirty deed. I slipped a note under his door telling him if he didn't stop stealing my fire, I wouldn't just tell the landlord next time, but also take my pictures to the cops. Two days later, he was stealing my electricity again, so I took a pair of hedge shears that the landlord just happened to have in the basement, and I cut his extension cord into about nine pieces. The next morning I found a note under my door from Bob, demanding I replace the extension cord or give him $30. I banged on his door, hearing ESPN coming from inside his place, but again, he refused to answer the door. I called my landlord, who told me he had already served Bob with an eviction notice. We were all expecting Bob to be the kind of guy to fight the eviction (In Madison it's legally quite difficult to evict a renter), but much to our surprise, he disappeared in the middle of the night about two days later, but not before taking a dump in the back hallway in front of my door. Like Carl, Bob owed 3 months back rent when he split.

Sarah was another Connie, but with bigger eyes and better curves, and a declared major in Psychology. Her and her boyfriend fought and fucked loudly, and alot. One time, when I was sitting on the toilet, I heard Sarah singing "Magic Man" by Heart on the other side of the wall separating us. I imagined she was singing in the shower, and then I imagined other things. It's fun to imagine. Sarah lived here for about 8 months before splitting. She had a habit of using my electricity to do her laundry and drying, but otherwise, was an alright neighbor, I suppose. Man, their sex was LOUD!
Ashley moved in one Sunday afternoon, met her once in the front yard, and then she moved out three weeks later. Apparently she hated UW, was homesick, and moved back in with her parents. I never got the chance to ask what her major was.
Erick "with a CK, like sick, cuz I'm ill, yo!" was a full-time wigger and half-assed Juggalo. He drove a sad, miserable old Toyota Celica with a boomin' system, wore full-on basketball gear almost as often as Carl, had pizza delivered every single night that he didn't bring home one of those $5 footlongs he slapped together part-time at the Subway two blocks away...Other parts of the time, I'm pretty sure he was dealing drugs. He certainly smoked alot of weed...I was tempted to try scoring off him for awhile, but having decided he was positively one of the dumbest human beings I had ever talked to, I further decided to limit my interactions with him. He was so dumb, it wasn't even entertaining to me, or rather, his was an annoying kind of dumb, and don't even ask me to explain. Carl was another one who used my electricity to do his laundry and drying, and my two attempts to remedy the situation were expectedly futile. At last I got wise and put my basement outlet under a lockbox and deducted the cost from my rent.
Jeff was a 40-ish dude, brawny and possibly covered in a very thin, imperceptible, coating of motor oil. I wrote about him a bit elsewhere. Jeff was a bit scary on sight, but wasn't really a bad guy. He bartended and bounced, liked Classic Rock Radio kinda stuff, drove a pick-up, and dated a very tall blonde woman named Katie who looked a little busted, but kinda in a pretty way. She called me "babydoll" and liked to go play bingo at Ho-Chunk, and Jeff was very sweet to her, which I will always remember. He lived on the other side for about a year and a half, and I kinda missed him when he and Katie decided to move to Milwaukee.
Eve lives on the other side now. She's a large, pretty young woman who always wears muu-muu's and flip-flops, and her toes are always painted in bright colors. She's a phone sex operator (the third I've known in my life, believe it or not), and a rather boistrous, funny woman who nonetheless has very loud, nasty arguments with her boyfriend. I kinda feel bad for him because he seems to be a pretty nice guy, and because she talks for a living, always gets the better of him in their arguments.
Sometimes I imagine Pam driving her big rig somewhere out in the desert southwest, and I think of the washing machine. It has served so many, so well...
Hotcha! Hank

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