Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Update to the Weekend Update

Tuesday crept by and I spent nearly an hour in traffic trying to get to the grocery after work. When I returned home I found my upstairs neighbor (the one who borrowed $20 and repaid it) waiting for me on the steps. Yes, I’m now using the word neighbor. I’ll explain why later.

I had a feeling our meeting wasn’t by chance and wouldn’t be beneficial to me. Over the years I’ve encountered enough beggars and con artists to be suspicious anytime I am approached. You don’t have to be Reginald Denny or Rodney King to know to stay in your car. I’m not worried about being attacked by looters or the police, but I’ve learned that the moment I exit the car in Atlanta I’ll be beset by bums and rednecks telling me their woes and asking for handouts, booze, and/or a ride. Once I parked in a store lot only to be surrounded by mendicants before I even doused the engine. That time I put the car in reverse and waited for them to make a hole, then backed out and left as they followed and shouted their requests to me. “Sir. Excuse me, sir! I need…” Now I’m beginning to dread leaving the car, walking to the apartment, and in general just being home.

Groceries and beer in hand, I tried to say hello and keep walking, but she concluded her conversation with another tenant hidden in the shadows and told me “I need to make the same arrangement.”

“What?” I asked.

“I need to borrow $20.”

I didn’t have twenty, so I gave her ten. She told me “Even ten would be a blessing” and took the money amidst flurries of exclamations about how she would be starting her new job tomorrow and wouldn’t bother me anymore and how her husband had left her in this rotten situation again but she loved him anyway and how she would return the money before I left for work in the morning. Thinking I wouldn’t see her again that night (if ever), I settled in for a night of housework and Japanese and writing.

Just before eleven PM I heard a soft knock on the door. I recognized that knock from the weekend. I opened the door and surely enough – there she stood with a huge grin on her face, asking me if she could buy a beer. I told her it wasn’t necessary to buy one and invited her in, wondering (as always) if that was a smart thing to do. She thanked me effusively, said I was a good host, and complemented the look and smell of my apartment (Spartan and a scented candle, respectively).

You know those people (read: women) who walk around in a cloud of perfume as if they bathed in the stuff, filling the air around them with such a dense cloud of stink as to make it nearly impossible to breathe? Well, replace “perfume” with “pot fumes” and you’ll get the general idea (glad my money was going to a worthy cause). Not only did I get a light buzz from the brief contact with her, the back of my throat felt burned as if I had just smoked a cigar. I glanced at her to see if I could see actual wisps of smoke rising from her, but I couldn’t tell in the light. I gave her a beer and she babbled some more thanks and, just as she stepped out the door, told me she would probably be back.

Oh, rapture.

Just shy of midnight I heard the familiar knock on my door. She didn’t reek as bad as the last time, but the beer has done nothing to sober her up. Go figure – it always normalizes me. Well, at least it shushes the voices in my head. Anyway, she tells me she needs to buy another beer (not that I charged her the last time); in fact, this time she needs two. She dropped a wad of change on the counter, babbled more incoherently, introduced herself but talked so much I couldn’t tell her my name (which was probably a good thing), took her beers and headed for the door. On the way she informed me that she really wasn’t married to her “husband” but she probably would be some day. She also asked me if I liked big tits, gave me a quick flash (she was now wearing a flowery pink robe over her clothes so she actually just flashed her shirt) and asked me not to tell anybody in the building that she had been there. Lady, it won’t be a problem.

Note – I didn’t make any of that up. I wish I had.

I counted the change this morning and found 98 cents. I don’t know in what economy she lives, but I don’t know where to buy any 50 cent beers (at least not any I’d want to put in my mouth). She didn’t return the ten dollars before I left for work, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing either as long as she evades me for the rest of my life in order to avoid repaying me. If that happens, I’ll consider it a real bargain. Maybe I should just visit all my other neighbors and offer them the money up-front. “Ten bucks, and you never knock on that door down there no matter the emergency.”

Yesterday I avoided calling her my neighbor because, over the years, that word has become a derisive term and implies (to me) that the person is some kind of annoying nut job ala Redneck Neighbor #1 or Redneck Neighbor #2 or (from my last address) Captain Nekkid. So much for her being labeled a building mate. Lady, I dub thee neighbor.

One final note: If any of my non-virtual friends or acquaintances read this, I just know they’re going to give me grief for still attempting to be charitable even at my advanced age. I’ve noticed “friends” are always there to give you a hard time if you try to help someone, but they never have anything negative to say if you tell them a starving child approached you and you spat in his or her face. Most people don’t bother with xtian charity, especially not the ones who claim to be xtians. They seem to live by the credo “Charity begins in the home, which means god wants me to spend all my money on clothes and booze.”


Tai said...

Who the hell cares what other people think!

Do want you feel is right,(frankly, I'm all for the 'lend a helping hand' approach within reason of course) and nevermind to the rest.

Well, except for the spitting in starving child's face, of course, you might want to avoid that.

Kira said...

I hate that much contact with my neighbors. That's why I want to move out of the apartment and buy a house...and put up an electric fence.

Grant said...

tai - I'm all for the "feck what others think" way of life. It just struck me that I've never heard a person (outside of this blog) complement me for being nice. If I tell a story like this in real life, the response would be "You wouldn't catch me doing that," as if being miserly and cynical is something of which to be proud.

kira - I had a house in a secluded subdivision way out in the burbs before, and it was much worse. The farther your neighbors, the more they want to be in your business. The electric fence is a must, assuming you can't afford the twelve foot concrete retaining walls and Rottweilers and search lights and patrolling armed guards. Hopefully your experience will be better than mine.

PBS said...

Awwww, admit it, you DO have a soft and compassionate heart! But good thing you've got some common sense too, so as not to be taken.

Nobius said...

I've had a number of similiar encounters myself. It's one of the reasons even if I have to work three jobs I'll never live in an apartment, twinplex, or duplex again.

Anonymous said...

For some reason this blog creeped me out. Could be cause it reminded me of my blind date who showed up on my couch the next morning... Don't ask me why. Just did. Keep your door locked and your gun close.

That Girl

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I knew there was a good reason I've made NO attempt at getting to know my neighbors.

Eh, you did the right thing....really. I mean, aside from telling her to "Feck off!", what else were you going to do?

sands of time said...

Its your money Grant,so you can do as you wish with it.Hey maybe next time she'll actually flash you her tits.
I actually talk to all my neighbours and people i pass in the street.

Kerry said...

HAHA... Gosh I love keeping up on the stories about your neighbors. I just knew in the end you'd tell us that she was a hottie and she stayed the night and now you're in luv ;)

She's kind of weird in that she offered to 'buy' a beer from you with YOUR money! lol

circe said...

I personally love how she 'flashed' you...........

Grant said...

pbs - I think I have more of a soft head.

nobius - I've had many worse encounters when I lived in houses before. I think the neighborhood matters more.

that girl - I think I'll just start shooting through the door whenever anybody knocks.

pq - she still hasn't repaid the ten bucks, so now she goes into the "Feck Off!" category.

pink lady - next time I'll demand recompense up front.

kerry - she was not remotely attractive and I'll never stray from my Bunny Dentist.

circe - that was the point where I started to get really nervous and was glad she was on her way out.

Liz said...

I’ve actually just started a neighborhood feud so I better shut my trap.

Mel said...

Do you like big tits - heheheheheheheheh, god I laughed myself sick over that one. Good luck with her, Grant, I hope there are no other 'soft knocks' on your door.

Grant said...

liz - good luck with the feud. Time to oil the chainsaw.

mel - there haven't been any more thus far. Either she's embarrassed by the way she behaved, or (more likely) she wants to keep the $10 and 3 beers for 98 cents.

poody said...

sounds like you need to quit answering the door to this chick with the big tits. She was checking out what you have in there she could possibly pawn I am so sure. She is a crackhead and you need to steer clear of her. I keep socks in my car to give to homeless people on the street.