So one day I was looking out across the street and was casually aware that Old Man Pete’s yard and porch were a mess from last nights party. Being the awesome neighbor that I am I went to State Liquor Store # 9 and bought a bottle of R&R that I thought Pete would like.
It took awhile him to come to the door on a late Saturday morning.
Pete: Who is it?
Just a minute Goddammit
I could hear him moving around for a couple minutes cursing the cat and life in general.
P: WHO is it?
Kenny from across the street?
Yeah, it’s me Kenny
Ok Goddammit. Hang on.
A little commotion later the door open and two semi feral cats shot out the door with the unmistakable odor of cigarettes, alcohol, and a house that’s been closed up for awhile.
Hey Kenny what are you doing?
I saw your porch and was thinking about helping you clean up.
Hang on Goddammit. He unhooked the chain and used his crutches to move beer cans and general garbage that was in the way of the door.
P: So what’s this about my porch.
It’s a mess Pete let’s drink some whiskey and I’ll help clean up.
Gimmie that bottle. Yeah, Yeah. A bottle of R&R huh. Gimmie a minute.
He turned and went into the house leaving me standing there and spent several minutes cursing the cats and a number of people in the neighborhood that weren’t any where around. I assumed he was preparing a morning drink but he returned empty handed and started moving around the porch.
Using his crutch as a pointer and a club depending on whim he knocked over some beer cans. How ’bout this Kenny, is this a mess?
Yeah, let’s clean it up.
What about these bottles, they rattled and scattered across his wooden porch, Are these what you think is a mess.
This continued for about five minutes as he whacked the roses, Whadda ya think Kenny, do my roses need trimmed too?
Yeah Pete, they’re a mess. I’d be glad to help.
Yeah, Yeah. He always said it with kind of a mny sound, you know, the mexican n with the wiggly line above it that makes the nyu sound like in manyanna. So he says mnyeah mnyeah.
Who lives in that house? Pointing at my house.
I do Pete.
No, no. That house right there. Pointing at my house again.
I do, that’s my house.
The one with the fence.
You’re talking about that house right there with the fence? That’s my house.
No, no Goddammit that one right there with the paint there on the front!
If you’re talking about that house right there (I pointed exactly at my house) That’s my house.
That’s your house? You live there?
Yeah Pete I live there.
GO SWEEP YOUR OWN FUCKING PORCH!
He pushed past me and slammed the door.
I was pissed! Mean old bastard.
It took about a week to calm down and I was sitting on a broken chair that was wedged in tightly against some boxes (so that it wouldn’t block the narrow walkway).
I got to looking at the cobwebs and last fall’s leaves and all the boxes of stuff that I had stacked there some time ago while working on a project and sort of forgotten about. Getting up and getting a street view I suddenly realized what my house looked like from his house.
It only took about an hour to clean up and I went back to State Liquor Store #9 and bought a bottle of R&R. I tapped loudly.
P: Who is it Goddammit?
From across the street?
Hang on Goddammit
I could hear the normal routine and the door opened a crack.
Did you sweep you porch?
Yeah Pete, It’s clean.
Come one in and lets have a drink and you can help me with my porch.