Right now, I’m sitting on my patio – a little oasis of outdoor calm. One wall is covered in ivy, there are potted plants flowering, there’s a table and comfy chairs. I’ve seen several birds, including a hummingbird. If only I could enjoy this space all day… No, it’s not because of the bugs. Or the sun.

 It’s 7:44 am and Thug Life isn’t up yet.

Every year about this time, the residents of Asshat Manor roll into the parking lot, bleary-eyed from a winter of cooking up meth with the windows closed, skin dry from the indoor heating (which must be cranked high so all Thugs can continue wearing wife-beaters and droopy drawers). In a few days, they have regained their strength and begin drawing their female compatriots from their own winter dens. Together they begin the Annual Asshat Hootenanny.

Why doesn’t the common Thug Lifer get frightened of his shadow and go back in for, oh, say six months?

This spring has been incredibly rainy for the Ohio River Valley which kept them inside for an extra month. Perhaps they are so waterlogged now that they can’t find the fire to fight with each other. So far, the only noise has been the usual thug-thumping music and a few rounds of cornhole in the parking lot.

And there’s a motorcycle.

I don’t know much about motorcycles. I rode on the back of one in college for about 2 miles and the driver, my professor who was giving me a lift to a play rehearsal, probably couldn’t breathe because I had him in a death grip. Anyway, one of Thug Life’s crew has a motorcycle. It’s LOUD. And he likes to REV it. I guess he likes how the noise reverberates against all the hard surfaces of the parking lot?

And because this post is about neighbors, I’ll tell you about another one. We live in a condo. Each condo is attached to three others to form a little quad. Each pair shares a courtyard. We share a courtyard with an older woman who has lived here for like…a million years.

A few years ago, as I was working the little garden in my yard, she graciously allowed me to do whatever I wanted in her yard. And by that I mean, she’s too lazy to do it herself but if I wanted to plant stuff and make it look nice, she wasn’t going to stop me.

The problem is that the main valve to the outdoor water spigot is in her house… So every spring I have to go ask her to turn it on so I can continue keeping up her yard. Sunday I went over and asked her if she could turn it on.

She pretended not to know which knob turns on the water. Sesriously? She turns it on herself every year. She made me get under her gross sink and fiddle with knobs. Then she wanted me to help her remember to turn it off in the fall because last year she forgot and then her kitchen flooded when the pipes froze. THEN she hinted that we should help her pay for the repairs to the pipes (she’s also hinted to Husband about this…twice….).

I wanted to hint back that she’s never offered to pay for plants or mulch for the yard, nor did she offer to replace the hose Husband had to cut up to help her SIPHON SEWAGE OUT OF HER FRONT HALL.

Those are the people in my neighborhood, in my neighborhood, the people that I meet each day.


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