Can’t Pick Your Neighbors
I have lived all over Austin and I’ve had some pretty colorful neighbors. I’ve mentioned Smitty (a.k.a. Big Daddy), Jenny the OCD hoarder / antique dealer / grass killer, and the hippie commune fortress that we used as target practice when we flung corn tortillas like Frisbees at their upper deck. This happened right before they actually moved in so I’m sure they were like, “Why is our deck covered in corn tortillas?” I have no explanation other than stale corn tortillas can fly really far.
But before all of that I lived in a tiny efficiency next to a creek and you could not have picked a more bizarre group of people. Allow me to introduce them. (I don’t remember any of their names so I’m making them up.)
Mike – Mike lived right next door to me with his Golden Retriever, Quasar. Mike and Quasar smoked a LOT of weed. So much that Quasar became terrified of stuffed animals. He would come into my apartment and freak out when he saw one on my bed. They also listened to Crosby, Stills, and Nash as loud as it would go, every single day. I asked Mike where they came from and apparently the FBI had sent planes to fly over his pot farm so he had to run away before he got busted. I told him his secret was safe with me.
Linda – Upstairs, in the back facing the creek, lived Linda and her two kids, a girl and a boy ages roughly five and seven and were rarely supervised. Linda was in love with Mike so they would hang out till all hours drinking beer and when it was close to last call, she would ask to borrow my car to make a beer run. Are you joking? No.
Martha – Directly above me, also facing the creek, was a woman in her late 60’s who was quite possible the craziest person I had ever met. Martha regularly asked to borrow my phone (for some reason I was the only person in the building with amenities like a car and a phone) because she had to call Washington, D.C. to report the mailman for constantly stealing her TV Guide magazines. She also had no electricity and would sit in her recliner facing the door which was always open. Very creepy. Anyway, one day we had a huge storm and Martha walked out on the balcony, raised her arms to the sky, and started yelling at Jesus to bring down a big tree limb before it landed on a baby. The same baby whose mother kept putting it in that big patch of poison ivy. P.S. There was no mother, baby, or poison ivy.
Greg – Greg was a young guy who lived a few doors down and his apartment was filled to the brim with boxes of files he had collected that were proof that the government knew about U.F.O.s, and was planning something big. He didn’t know what but we needed to be prepared. Greg drank a lot.
Landscaper – Every week a guy came to mow the grass with one of those industrial sized mowers that you stand on and drive, and every week he drove it into the creek.
I think all of this proves that there are no normal people in the world, at least not near me.