spring weather brings neighborhood conversations

And, for me, they’re generally 100% unsolicited and 98% annoying. I know it’s good to know your neighbors, but I think I’m still scarred from growing up across the street from a guy who sat in his garage drinking beer 20 hours a day (I gave him some time for sleeping there). There were multiple occasions when I’d come home around 3am (after my closing shift at Taco Bell!) and have some type of a conversation with him. Dude, I have refried beans on my pants. I just want to go inside now.

Yesterday, I’m in the backyard trying to get Garcia and Riley to refrain from barking their fool heads off at the guy that lives directly behind us. And naturally that led into a 20 minute conversation that started with “How’d you guys do over the winter?” How the hell do you respond to that? Great. We did great. Luckily, we didn’t wake up from hibernation too soon and, when we did, we had plenty of supplies leftover. Better than last winter when we had to go foraging for squirrel carcases in our backyard!

I learned from our across-the-alley neighbor that he’s trying to move soon, because his house has decreased so much in value and he took out a crappy loan five years ago. The guy two houses down from him has to be out by May 2nd due to foreclosure. And it’s possible, according to across-the-alley neighbor, that there’s a drug dealer living across the street from us. (More on that later.) He went to California in February and hung out with our landlord for a couple of days; turns out she’s engaged now and they really love living in California. Bonus.

Two hours later, Riley and Garcia decide to open the front door and run across the street to visit the neighbor that’s outside there. (Bad pet owner, I know.) He says, “Hi, I’m Bill” and sticks his hand out to shake mine. I tell him I’m Wendy and he holds my hand a little longer than I’m comfortable with most strangers holding it. (There are exceptions.) It’s 11am and he’s holding a can of Budweiser in one hand. I tell him I like his breakfast choice. He says he’s been up since 3am, so it’s more like his lunch. His wife is talking to the dogs out the window. I finally pick Garcia up like a baby and The General drags Riley home by the collar. Bill tells us that if we ever need help with anything, just to let him know.

I’m hoping Bill, his cans of Budweiser and his agoraphobic wife are the drug dealing house. My second choice would be the house that’s called “Humpatorium” on Foursquare.