Saturday, May 26, 2012

Being Gladys Kravitz.

"Do you hear that?"

It's around two in the moring. I've been asleep for about half an hour. Groggy, I open my eyes, and look over to Corb, sitting in shadows in the chair across from me. "Wha...?"

"The neighbors on the first floor. They've been keeping me up all night."

I rub at my eyes. "What are they doing?"

"They've been fighting for the past hour. Sounds like she cheated on him, and the guy who she on him with keeps texting and calling her, and he texted the boyfriend to say she had herpes. And the guy asked her if she had herpes and she denied it, but he just discovered a herpes sore on his lip and he's freaking out. He's talking to his mother on the phone right now."

I move over to the window. The boyfriend is standing by his car, shirtless. The lights from the front of the apartment glisten on his smooth body. "I'm leaving, ma. I'm leaving! She gave me herpes, ma." A pause, as he paced around the car. "Yeah, I'm sure! I..." He bangs on the car, a little embarrassed. "I went down on her, ma."

I turn to Corb, trying not to laugh. "He just told his ma he went down on her?"

"He's very close to his mother," grins Corb.

Another bang on the car. "Yeah, I'm leaving, ma. Getting outta here! I'm just hanging around until I sober up."

He moves away from his car. Looks up at the apartment building, at our floor. I duck my head so he can't see me. We hear the door to the building open, then close. I sit on the bed for about twenty minutes, waiting for the next eruption.


Nine o'clock in the morning. Corb's in the bathroom, brushing his teeth. He gives one last good spit and then moves into the room. "He's still here."

"No way! He didn't move out?"

"Not yet." Corb sits on the chair across from me, an impish smile on his face. "Think if I left a bottle of Herpex outside their door they'd get upset?"

Neighbors. Better entertainment than television, I tell you.

We haven't had a lot of neighbors stories lately, so it's nice to have some entertainment. The place we live now is fairly subdued and quiet. The first building we lived in was far more entertaining. We had a neighbor who smashed the windshield to her boyfriend's Mustang with a can of beans, for example. The best story was Thor, a rather addled obese man who decided to take off his clothes one day and wade in the pond located in the center of the complex, raising his fists to the heavens and shouting, all the while. That was quite a show for everyone. (PS: Corb took pictures.)

As I've been typing this, we've been watching an old eighties movie, something starring Kevin Dillon. Ashes and her eighties movies...she was forcing us. Just as I got to that part in the story, we suddenly hear a loud noise from the sky.

"What's that?" asks Ashes.

"Sounds like a plane." Corb strains his ears. "Or a helicopter." He pauses, runs over to the picture window, excited. "Can you see it? Something is happening over in the other building. Can't you see everyone running to it? Oh wow, they're air lifting someone out of one of the buildings. Something pretty bad must have just happened. LET'S GO SEE IT!"

Thrilled beyond belief, Corb and Ashes run to put on their shoes and exit the apartment, as if it were on fire.

I hang back. I know I'll get the full report in a few minutes. Besides, I want to wrap up my story.

Sometimes I don't need  to be Gladys Kravitz, you see. Sometimes it's more fun being Gladys Kravitz by proxy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


This morning, I woke up at the (well, relatively) early hour of nine o'clock, in clear defiance of the four cosmos I had consumed the night before. The drinks had been downed at a crushingly boring Miriam Hospital fundraiser. I wish I could say a more entertaining evening would have led to less drinkage, but my dear, you know I'd be a liar.

The drinks had been good (especially the Raspberry stoli in the last one), but the event? Well, they had elected to hold a celebrity chefs cook-off, starring...get this! Folks I never heard of! I don't much care about that (who am I, anyways, and you get who you can get), but here's some advice for folks planning fundraisers in the future:
  • DON'T plan a celebrity cook-off, because they are boring as hell to watch.
  • DON'T hold the event itself AFTER everyone has eaten their meal, because honestly, who in the world wants to watch four very pampered chefs sit there and eat food and then talk about the food they've consumed when your belly is full?
  • Finally, if you're planning to plan such nonsense, DON'T hold two rounds of it. One round was bad least I could gobble up my dessert. Tacking a second round for the "celebrity" chefs to cook a main course? People couldn't race to their cars quickly enough.
Anyway, after all...that, I woke up at nine this morning, without (amazingly) that much of a hangover. Now note, this was two hours after the Corbster, who was participating in a 20 mile Walk for Hunger this morning. And by the way, boy are his feet in pain right now! He's sitting here staring at his feet and popping blisters left and right. He had one on his baby toe that was the size of a baby's head. I KID YOU NOT!

ANYWAY, after that...I woke up that early to clean the apartment, and then head off to set construction for the Eldredge Players production of The Drowsy Chaperone, which I just happen to be directing. You know, the way that I do every year. Right?

Now, the house where we do our set construction is located rather close to Wheaton College, where the production is to be performed. Both are located in the sleepy little town of Norton, a place that doesn't have much going for it other than Wheaton College. Other than that, there's a police station, a CVS, a hardware store, a few restaurants, a drug rehab facility, and well, there you go. I mean, what more does a town need, really?

Well, wild turkeys, too, I guess. Because there I am in the Stang, driving down a rustic and charming... practically road, when all of a sudden, what should scuttle across the road quickly but a brown and white absurdity with a blue head and a nutsack for a chin.

He somehow managed to avoid the bikers coming down on the opposite side of the road. Scuttle scuttle, right in the path of the 'Stang. I cried out and put my foot on the break, and tried to swerve to avoid it, but BANG! Collide it did, right with my front grille.

I watched it fall back, into the opposite lane, clearly injured. Then, it started walking forward. Did it make it? I wondered. But how could it possibly have made it, there's no way...

Then, it shuddered and fell to the ground. Just like those stories you hear of how chickens move around for a few seconds after they've had their heads chopped off.

I panicked, I must admit it. I've never hit a wild animal before. I had no idea what to do next. Should I stay to wait for the ambulance? Notify its next of kin? In a kind of a fog, I took solace in noticing that the bikers were pulling over. Oh, good! The turkey hospice was now in the hands of Hell's angels. They'd know what to do.

Desolate, inconsoleable, desole beyond desole, I continued onward, made my way to the house where set construction was taking place. I stumbled out of my car, a frown etched on my face.

"I just hit a wild turkey with my car," I said.

The set crew, who are...well, set people and not necessarily actors, looked at the absurd wreck that I was, slightly amused. "Did you kill it?" one of the guys, who is a self-professed shit kicker, asked.

I nodded my head.

"And you didn't put it in your back seat so we could eat it for lunch?" he asked. Everyone laughed.

Hey, this isn't funny. I now have the weight of a dead turkey on my soul. I have killed, dammit! And so has my car, too. And now that we've tasted blood, will we want more? Will my Stang turn into Christine, and hunt down other fowl, then small animals, the creatures with limited intelligence, like Newt Gingrich? And me...what about me? Will I start to become more bloodthirsty? Join the NRA, eventually? Worse...gulp...become a Republican?

Or maybe not. I will say, though, I have noticed an increase in the number of wild turkeys trotting around here. I never used to see them anywhere until about five years ago, but now they're around all the time, usually on rural roads, usually in packs.

Man's encroachment on Mother Nature? Maybe. I guess it was inevitable that I would hit one someday. And maybe that should provide me with some small comfort, but it really doesn't.

Wild Turkey Killer, that's what I am. Today I bear the name of Ted the Wild Turkey Killer. It's murder most fowl, I tell you.

Somehow, I must learn to atone for my sins. But how?

Hmmm. Maybe not have seconds on Thanksgiving?