12 October 2009

Meet The Neighbors

So, several months ago we closed on a house. And then my parents visited and helped with some repairs/painting/etc. And then Nate's parents came and helped move us and do other assorted house stuff. And then we painted. And then we painted some more. And then we dug up some plants in the yard. And then I nearly divorced Dr. Nate because it was August and hot and we didn't have central A/C. Windows units are horrible, noisy messes and not useful when you work from home and have to be on the phone a lot. When you're taking off work for an afternoon just to go sit at the mall and enjoy the cool air, then it's time to make changes in your life. An ultimatum came: central A/C or my own centrally-A/Ced apartment for the months of July-September. We went with option #1.

(The dining room)

(The living room)

And then it was time to met the neighbors. Behind us are the Fatherly Advice neighbors, B & D. They seem to think we're much younger than we are (and therefore we must have no money or Life Skills). But we have learned that the Road to A Decent Lawn is Paved with Scott's Turf-Builder from them. Except when Dr. Nate paves it so well that he burns a running track in our yard. We'll just hope those brown patches grown back in Spring, mmmmkay?

To our left is another "twin" (we call 'em duplexes where I come from). On the far side is 50-ish Year Old Single Real Estate Lady who owns The World's Crabbiest Tabby Cat. On the right side is Gay Stereotype #5: Younger gay man whose home looks the local historical society threw up in the place. His mom is over to visit daily. We need to find him a boyfriend, stat.

And then the folks with whom we share our wall. Luckily that wall is concrete block and there is a fence out back. We call them the Schlumps. Mr. and Mrs. Schlump are perfectly nice. But....schlumpy. Bland. Resigned to what life has dealt them. And what has life dealt them? Two sons, Tweaker and Meat Puppet.

We didn't even know Tweaker existed for several months. He is a pasty sort, 12-14. The skinny type that spends nearly 100% of his time playing World of Warcraft in his room. We've never spoken to him, as we rarely see him outside of the house. So why call him Tweaker? Last weekend Dr. Nate and I were heading to bed around midnight and discovered Tweaker and a friend were hanging out in their garage. Both seemed to be pacing back and forth a lot, then going off into a corner of the garage. Then pacing some more. Not that we were watching this or anything. Heaven forbid we need to take the garage out at midnight. And yes, I will admit that we were drunk. Note to self: the third bottle of wine is never a good idea. Even if you opened the first one at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Meth use or torrid love affair? You be the judge.

Meat Puppet is another story. College, slightly post-college age, I guess. When we first moved in, I was doing something on the front porch and startled him when he walked out the door. I said, "Hi! We just moved in. My name is alm." He responded, "I don't live here." Except that was in June. And it is October and he is still living there. So, yes, he DOES, in fact, live there.

I first chalked it up to stoner kid who graduated from college and is living with his folks, since we rarely saw him leave the house. But all social interaction goes out the window with this one. You'd think that college, or being over the age of eight, even, would teach a young man some social skills. Apparently not. Dr. Nate and I were in the yard awhile go and he came out to walk the family dogs. You'd think we were going to shoot him. I smiled and said "Hi" and got a terrified look from him and a weak, squeaky, "hi" back.

And there was the day I saw him standing in the back alley rubbing his hands in his pockets and looking down the street for no apparent reason. And other little incidents that all amount to a good deal of strangeness.

Dr. Nate and I argued whether it was OCD, Asperger's, or social anxiety disorder. I was rooting for social anxiety disorder. Nate was convinced it was Asperger's with a dose of OCD.

But then I find out from Nate that he witnessed The Puppet out in their back yard at 7:30am, glancing furtively at their back porch, rubbing hands in pockets, and then sneaking into their garage.


All this lead Dr. Nate to make a crack that the kid reminds him of the senator's son in The Busboy episode of "Lucy, Daughter of the Devil" and that we might find a meat facsimile of me in their basement as some point. So, obviously we started calling the kid Meat Puppet. I mean, what else can we do in this situation but give him a nickname?

Well, that, and call the locksmith to install a few more deadbolts.