I have been up since the better part of 4 am.
Yes it is a Saturday, and yes by all rights I should be sleeping in.
Fat chance. The ol internal alarm clock kicked me out of bed at 4:03.
Not that it really would have mattered much more.
For even though my beautiful bride and our brood slept soundly it was, indeed awakened.
See, I live out in the sticks. The Wilderness Retreat we call it. We have almost 10 acres and it’s heavily wooded save for a small spot where our house stands. I would have put our house right in the middle of it, however the majority of our property is at the bottom of a mountain, and in a draw. Only a small portion is on the top. We built on the top for a variety of reasons, chief among them is water access, septic tank, and oh yeah a road that would not be straight up, twice. Very important in bad weather.
This also means that I end up with neighbors.
Not many, but some.
We have a new neighbor who bought the property that I wanted to buy (it just never worked out) about 4 months ago.
He and his wife are….well….I hesitate to speak evil of people I am not more familiar with so lets just say they do not impress me.
For the majority of the winter, their dogs have been stealing Hucks food and water…because they do not feed them. This led to an understandable altercation with Huck and their dog…in my yard…with Huck on a chain. That was my introduction to them. They expected restitution, which I promptly provided in the form of a diplomatic response. “Next time your dog is in my yard I’ll just shoot it and save us all a lot of trouble.” They obviously mistreat the poor animal, the county does not have jurisdiction regarding rural animals (I called the Sheriff to be sure) both of the animals are extremely old and one is in heat……your getting the picture I trust. In my eyes I’d be doing the animals a favor. It would be quick, painless, and probably the most responsible thing that has happened to them in years.
Anyway they placed a derelict camper trailer on the property, promptly underpinned it with press board…and moved their pick up truck that sounds every bit like a Volkswagon in to the property.
As I said, I am not impressed.
This morning I am less so.
Through most of the winter we have listened to them climb in to their truck or their car (which sound amazingly similar) and rev tee total hell out of the engine. My daughter awakes. My dog howls. I pray the engine blows up before my temper does.
It is 32 today. There is no snow predicted.It’s Saturday.
At 5 am they begin the rev’ing process. My peaceful, mountain top wilderness home is turned in to the Indianapolis 500 for unmufflered go-carts and lawnmowers with 6 cylinders.
They leave as my patience wears thinner. As I sit down with my coffee at 06:00 they return.
Then it starts.
Banging. Clattering. Pounding.
I open a blind.
The sky is a lovely shade of lavender. A slight orange tint is starting to bleed from the behind my home which sits long ways from the East. There is still a smattering of snow on the ground and a variety of birds are singing…I can hear them from the window I stand by. Across my lightly snow covered dirt road is my new neighbor.
He bends upon a concrete foundation started by the previous owner….a man who started many projects and in the 3 years he lived here finished absolutely none of them. The foundation is a testament to his work. Concrete cinder block, taken from a job site. The interior untouched, grass grows everywhere.
The cinderblocks blend with the grey of a Missouri winter morning. Grey cinder blocks, white/grey snow, grey/blue sky, blue jeans….and ass.
It’s not small either. It stretches rather obviously from one side of his truck to the other. I am not a small man, but even I am not big enough to requiring squeezing in to the back of a full size F-150.
He smiles at me in a sideways fashion…or rather ..his ass does.
It’s like a train running at full speed to a bridge on which sits a station wagon full of nuns on spring break in Miami. You can’t stop watching. Until my stomach tells me, “Oh yes.. you will stop watching.”
The banging and clattering continues. He has decided to build a house…or wooden..thing…on that the concrete bricks. At 6 in the freaking morning.
I close my blinds, rub the headache that is forming and try to be patient. Every one deserves a shot at a better life. Everyone deserves to rise above what they are.
But I can’t help thinking that my neighbor is precisely what I saw.
A sideways smiling, asshole.