Welcome to the Methorhood

Posted By on April 30, 2015

Next door to me is a trailer that has no business still being upright. Owned by the woman in the big, new home a few doors away, it is a dilapidated, pieced together metal, plywood and glass rectangle that depends on tar and duct tape. It has been rented to some very shifty characters over the years. There was a Mexican family that had so many members it was hard to know who actually lived there and who didn’t. They played loud music late into the night, got in drunken fights on the other side of the fence, liked to pee off their porch, and threw diapers out their front door and promptly forgot about them.

My manual push mower disappeared from the shed during their residence and I’m pretty sure little hands squired it away to live over there. I let it go in hopes it would be put to use, though I never saw any evidence of that.

After the family moved suddenly in the night, a couple moved in. They had two little boys with the most stunning blue eyes and constant dirty faces. The mother gave birth to a third boy shortly after moving in and forgot to make it to doctor appointments, couldn’t understand why her baby couldn’t be circumcised six months after the fact without anesthesia, and I learned way more than I wanted to know when she came over to use my phone again and again because hers wasn’t working. They used all the community services possible; transportation a church provided even though they didn’t ever go to church, the food bank and food stamps even though the kids always seemed hungry, the local police were their marriage counselors. One day they were gone.

Which brings us to my current neighbors. The first couple years were pretty smooth. The guy liked to chat, he was nice enough. Odd, but hey, who isn’t. He has two pitbulls he says are service animals because the woman he lives with is handicapped. They’ve lived next door for years and I’m still not sure if she’s his wife, his girlfriend or the person he takes care of. It seems to depend on the day, the weather and which one I’m talking to. At any rate, she has some mobility issues, the paramedics were over there quite a bit in the beginning.

But if those pitbulls are service dogs, I’ll eat my socks. The older dog often gets out. He comes to hang out in my yard. He likes to lay on my porch, lethargic and slow. Getting him back to his own yard is pretty easy, carry a bowl of water and that dog will follow you like you’re God. Which tells you a lot about the situation.

So, the first couple years, they were the odd couple next door. The dog got out some. The flashing lights of the fire department and paramedics were common. He grew pot for his medical conditions. Live and let live.

But then there was fighting, giant screaming matches that sometimes ended with police involvement. There was an incident with gasoline being poured on the trailer and threats to burn it down. There appeared signs about No Trespassing — This means you [insert name here]. And then there came a lot of people in and out of there, cars that park for five or ten minutes and leave, a newly installed porch light whose bulb changes color periodically–some days clear, some days yellow, burning of charcoal briquettes in a pot barbecue with no food. When the wind is right, a chemical smell underlying the charcoal.

My husband seemed to think my imagination was getting carried away. And I will admit, I  have a plot building brain that has the speed capability of an Acela train. But on my truly lucky nights, the neighbors forget to cover their window that looks onto my front porch. And, yay me, I get to witness them lighting up their glass pipes and turning their front room into a brownish fog so that it’s like looking at a sepia toned picture.

A week or so ago, my trailer dwelling, meth smoking, drug dealing neighbors installed surveillance cameras. Yep. On a trailer that should by all rights be put out of it’s misery, there are now cameras that probably cost more than a couple months rent. I laughed when I saw them go up. I shook my head. I thought how ridiculously sad.

Then again, if paranoia has set in, how ugly might this get?

 

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