Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cookies...and Milk! (Or: I meet the neighbors)

First, the photos in the previous post:

1. Close-up: exterior of house
2: The living room (entry) BEFORE I touched it. Makes you sick, right? Can't you just SMELL the cigs?
3: Diagonally across the street from my house: the old Edith St. Laundry/grocery, which an investor is fixing up (a loft, I think) and selling for BIG BUCKS! I wanted to buy it, but couldn't afford it.
4: Living (entry) room AFTER I ripped the carpet from the (gorgeous hardwood!) floors and paneling from the walls. Lots of drywall to finish...
5: View of ext. from street corner

Now...about the neighbors:

A homeless guy walked into my house yesterday. I'd left the door open, because I was hauling out the debris I'd pried from the walls with my chisel and hammer, wood paneling painted orange and brown by the previous owners.

I nearly gouged him with a splintered 2 x 4 on my way toward the door.

I looked him in the eyes. His head nearly skimmed the cieling. He was at least six feet tall, and toothpick skinny.

"Hello," I said.

"Hi. You know where Roger is?"

Roger is my next-door neighbor. I cocked my thumb toward Roger's house.

"I think he's over there," I said. I held out my hand. "I'm Kate, by the way. You live in the neighborhood?"

In a cardboard box on the corner?

"Yeah," he said. "I was gonna buy this house!" he said, and pushed past me into the kitchen.

"I'm hungry!" he said, eyeballing the shelf of food I'd set up in the corner. There wasn't much to offer: maple syrup, oatmeal, cinnamon, salt, curry, and a package of rice crackers.

He pointed to the crackers.

"Can I eat these cookies?" he asked.

"Take 'em," I said.

He picked up the package and tore it open. "Hey, you gots some milk?" he asked.

No, I said. I didn't have any milk. Which was sort of a lie. I had soy milk in the 'fridge, but I wasn't about to pour the pushy homeless dude a cold glass of Silk.

"You ain't gots no milk? How can I have cookies with no milk?! How come you ain't gots no milk?!"

The nerve! I couldn't take it any longer. Even homeless people should mind their manners -- especially when they're an uninvited guest in a stranger's house.

"I think Roger's next door," I said. "Maybe he's got some milk."

Homeless guy wasn't getting the hint. I told him that he should be satisfied with the cookies, and told him I didn't like to be disrespected in my own home. "I invite you into my house, give you cookies, and you're mad because I don't have any milk?" I told HG that isn't how I operate.

"Roger's waiting for you," I said. "I think you should leave."

"Okay, okay," he said, hands up in surrender. "Thanks for the cookies." The door was still wide open.

"You got a husband?" he asked.

"No," I said. "But I have a mean dog." And a crowbar.

The dogs and I are sleeping on the couch in the dining room. Cozy, w/ three of us on the sofa. Rex weighs almost as much as I do, and is a hundred times as gassy. I awake in the night gasping for air...

I put the BEWARE OF DOG sign in the window before anything else... Pretty sure the house will get broken into...inevitable, I think.

This morning, as I was walking back home w/ Rex (morning dog walk), I passed a group of approx. ten kids hanging out on my street corner. "Hey, guys," I said. (Better to be friendly than afraid. And what the hell am I afraid of?!? I taught high school in Brooklyn. Ghetto kids are my specialty. Hell, I love them!) "Hey, Miss," they hollered. Cute, calling me miss. I was tempted to invite them in for Cheerios and tea. Instead, I called their elementary school, which is just a block away. "These babies need to be in school," I told the secretary. "Come 'round 'em up!" Here I am, thinking these seven yr olds are drug dealing... As I was leaving for work, I saw them again...boarding a school bus. They were waiting for the fucking bus! Agh. And I ratted them out. For nothing! What a wetta.

Got my first piece of "real" mail today: a big, fat check for a freelance writing gig. A good omen? I think so.


Adalena said...

"No, I said. I didn't have any milk. Which was sort of a lie. I had soy milk in the 'fridge, but I wasn't about to pour the pushy homeless dude a cold glass of Silk."

That's precious. I was dying.

I'm jealous of your fat freelance writing check.

sharon said...

I love this. You are soooooooo funny!!! Looking forward to your renovation updates!