Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day XVIII: Old Man Meth

Why is there always that one neighbor who's a royal pain in the ass?

The three of us live in a lovely area in uptown. For the most part, everyone around us is friendly and joyful. Our direct neighbors--one in a delightful Spanish-styled condo and the others in a massive, buttery, mid-century home--have been nothing but cordial and enjoyable with every interaction. Okay, we see them once a month, but, you know, they have nice smiles and great head nods. I'm convinced the ones on our right are very wealthy and have a second home in Edina. I heard one of their four hundred children complain very loudly last summer that she was tired of staying at "this dump" and wanted to go back to Edina.

God. Minnesota preteens are the worst.

meth lab chic
But, yeah, they're nice.

Across the street, however, is a different story altogether.

Directly across from us, in a shabby brick building with a looming chimney and gaping upper bedroom window, resides who we lovingly refer to as "Old Man Meth." We call him this because of the terrifying lighting that illuminates his living room every single day. It makes his whole home look like one big explosion waiting to happen. Having recently met him, I can officially say that he is the worst.

Really. The worst.

In Minnesota, there's this little thing called winter. During winter, it snows. In the snowiness of it all, vehicles can get stuck. Sometimes, this happens in your own driveway. On Tuesday night, Sibley happened to experience this in the alley behind our abode. Enlisting Kyle and I to shovel, the three of us tried our damned hardest to get her Scion out of a the bottomless well of snow and ice that had trapped her front tires. After 25 minutes of pushing and digging and pissing and moaning, a strange figure appeared in the alley.

Hooray! we thought. Someone has come to help!

Oh, Josh. You're so damn naive.

As the figure approached, we could see it was an older gentleman decked out in winter gear, ambling toward us with a trollish gait and general unpleasantness.

"I don't know what your deal is," he started in, "but your lights have been shining into my living room for the last 25 minutes and I have called the police." (This is when we all came to the realization that this was the one and only Old Man Meth.)

The three of us stood silent, bewildered by the odd joke the man just voiced. Surely he can see we are trying to get a car unstuck and that keeping the lights on is the only way to see what we're shoveling at.

"Well, my car's stuck." Sibley was the first one to come-to after the blackout rage had subsided. "We're just trying to get me unstuck."

"I don't know what you're doing, but if you don't turn your lights off I am going to call the police." (Also, he had a British accent and it's the first time I've heard one that wasn't completely charming.)

"Please do!" I said.

"Yeah, maybe they can help," Sibley added with hope.

But any rebuttal of ours was lost as Old Man Meth had turned and set off down the alley in a visible huff.

1. Really, guy? You marched over here to tell us you called the police about a bright light shining into your living room? Or did you call them? You changed your story half-way through our altercation.

2. She's clearly stuck and we're working on fixing the problem. Get a shovel, asshole, and help your neighbors out.

3. Did you forget how to operate your blinds? Really? You're a recluse who spends his entire day within the four walls of his home and you don't know how to work a set of fucking curtains?

Ugh. Even thinking about him now, days later, I'm getting fiery.

Someone will inevitably point out: poor old man, he's probably grumpy and sad and lonely.

And when that person points this out, I will gladly say: other than being old, he chooses to be those things. 

When I am his age--and have a lovely but fake accent--I will never treat people in a way that makes them feel belittled or futile. I don't do it now, and I will not do it then. Trust.

The lesson today: put your good human pants on every day you get ready. You never know when you'll be attacked on an insignificant blog for being a complete dill hole.

Tonight, I think I'll have a glass (that's a weird way to spell bottle) of wine and find myself a few floodlights to just, I don't know, leave on somewhere.

Hope you got those blinds figured out!

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Love this post, Josh. Yes, assholes aplenty in the world and it can be very difficult to be compassionate to them. Some day, he may need someone...or maybe not and he'll die lonely and grumpy. Ah, well.