The extra-hot weather in my neck of the hood has tempers a bit more frayed than usual. The smell of desperation in the air sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to scream.
The Kid still has not acquired a job. He says he’s looking. I take whatever he says with a whole salt lick because he prefers to lie by omission rather than just tell the truth and seek help with his resume and/or interview skills.
But this post isn’t about my errant offspring, it’s about my nearest neighbor. She’s a young woman, not yet thirty, and I don’t know her whole story, but here’s what I’ve been told –
She has several children but it not married. None of the children live with her because of problems in the past. I don’t know where the children live. I saw four between the ages of 8 and 15 the other day who all looked enough alike to be siblings sitting on her porch. They came over to pet Sabu so I got a good look at them.
She lives in the single-wide trailer Lois (remember her? the woman with all the long-haired chihuahuas? Did I tell that story here?) was kicked out of. Her father and step-mom, who live in the park, worked a miracle to get that hell hole cleaned up for human habitation and I hear he pulled all kinds of strings to get her into the park and out of “a bad situation” of some sort. I try not to judge and gave her the benefit of the doubt when she moved in.
She works as a bartender at a local watering hole which means she keeps late hours, often coming home at 0100. In the beginning she would pull up onto her patch of gravel, turn off her car, slam the door and go inside. It woke me up for the first week or so but became a Regular Thing and I got accustomed enough that it didn’t wake me any more.
She likes to play very loud music, but only after 10:00 PM. Yeah. That didn’t sit very well with me. My trailer is a good 20 feet away from hers but she likes to play the music loud enough that the bass makes the whole trailer shake like it’s morphing into a nightclub. I’m a sound sleeper, but this is just a bit too much. If it were good music it might be bearable, but it’s all rap and screaming and awful.
After a couple of weeks she started bringing men home with her. For a week or so it was the same guy, then she started to change it up regularly. Some of them would be leaving in the early morning hours as I was walking Sabu before heading off to work. None of them looked anything like respectable. Most of them looked like they were seriously hung over.
In the last 4 months or so she has been outside on her porch screaming into her phone and/or screaming at her current Flavor of the Week. She’s not even trying to be polite or considerate of others. One evening I heard male and female voices raised in anger and poked my head out to see what was up, only to find her father telling her that he won’t allow “that guy” into the park, that he’s a tweaker* and she’s out of line and will get herself kicked out. Loud, angry denials from her (but I’ve seen the dude – he’s a tweaker without a doubt) with lots of curse words and “I’ll do whatever I want – it’s my life!”
Said tweaker later stole a bike from another resident of the park. Said resident is of the gun toting, shoot, shovel, shut up variety and really the absolute worst person to steal from because he will find you, he will find his goods and he will make sure your ass is in jail for the maximum allowed sentence. He will not give up, and he didn’t. The tweaker was warned that he was being hunted and he returned the bike in the dead of night. I don’t know how that story ended but Steve is not in jail for battery and the tweaker has not been seen, by me at least, in the park since.
So. Last Friday I got off work at noon and went home for a nice, relaxing afternoon sipping sweet tea on the patio while enjoying Brother Frankenstein by Michael Bunker** There were a number of people chatting on the porch next door. After a bit, the girl and three men walk between our trailers and towards the back of the park where they turn a corner and leave my sight. Five or ten minutes later they come back. Then she leads another group around the corner and they all come back a few minutes later. A minivan pulls up and disgorges several people, its motor idling loudly for the next 30 minutes. She takes another group of people around the corner. They come back, etc. etc. etc. This goes on for about three hours, cars and people coming and going. Uh-huh.
The loud conversations outside last well into the dark hours and once again I’m awoken at 0230 by shouting outside. The party continued while I fumed and did not sleep. I’m not an idiot, however, and remained inside.
More of the same on Saturday, but this time the park manager observed the tweaker parade. She asked me some questions the other day and I told her what I knew. It was not the first complaint but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and she served the eviction notice on Tuesday. A scream was heard from inside the single-wide trailer and all has been quiet since.
This whole post may seem a bit harsh and critical, like I’m not sympathetic to the plight of young women who make poor choices, and maybe it is. I just think that if someone gives you a huge hand up and a chance to better your life it’s best to be grateful, not shit all over your improved circumstances. If you want to get away from drugs and/or bad people and you move to do so, don’t invite them back in. Take the advice of more experienced people who only want to help you. Don’t alienate your neighbors with rude behavior and excessive noise. Your life won’t improve until you make the decision to change yourself.
We shall see if it sticks and she’s out within 30 days or if she’s able to wrangle a new deal. Stay tuned…
* A tweaker is someone who uses crystal meth on a regular basis. They have a very distinctive look, what I call Meth Face, and distinctive mannerisms. They are a plague on this community and a blight on humanity. I could go on and on about my views of tweakers but this isn’t the time.
** Seriously, you need to read this guy! He’s the “father” of Amish Sci-Fi, which really is a thing and is marvelous! Also check out the Wool series by Hugh Howey if you enjoy dystopian fiction with no zombies or other unexplainable crap thrown in for cheap thrills.