taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

My neighbors, I've discovered, are a stranger bunch of people than they at first appeared. Throw a party and most of them show up, and it's always amusing to watch people who have nothing in common but proximity try and get their drink on together.

On the left side, we have Tremont and Mary.* Well, we used to have Tremont, but he bailed on his wife and two kids so he could go hang out with his 'ho. At least, that's pretty much how the story goes, whispered behind the azaleas during wine-drinking sessions on the patio. You could tell Tremont was trouble--his car was equipped with a wolf-whistle, and he had the look of a guy who spent too much time playing tennis. His children, Tremont the Third and Trevor, spend a lot of time alone in the house now, bringing pretty young girls in at all hours of the night.

We all liked Tremont and we were sad to see him go. My cat used to sneak into his house overnight, and one morning Tremont told me that he reached down to pet the cat and then thought, "Wait a minute, I don't have a cat!" He also told me a very sad story about how one time, he filed for bankruptcy and had to watch his Jag be towed down the hill. I truly think that was the worst moment of his life.

On the other side, we have another failing relationship, the formerly delightful Lisa and Joe, who used to sit happily on their porch and throw parties where they hand-rolled their sushi. Lisa is a minimalist and so all her clothes and animals are black or white, and her house has a total of three pieces of furniture.

Across the street lives that horrible dog who is let loose to roam free whenever he wants, and who goes into my garbage and tears it apart every morning at 5am. The dog has been lost a number of times (surprise) and every time, the whole street gets into this big dog-hunt-rallying-mode, all verklempt and torn up about the loss of this dog, and I'm all, why? He's a nuisance and menaces all dogs and children who look at him wrong.

Down the road, we have the Over-Improved house, a mansion housing eccentric musicians and their many adopted children. Only no one knows if the children are actually adopted, or who all these teenagers are, hanging out on the sidewalk, changing clothes out of the trunks of their jalopies. The eccentric musicians often hold lavish parties that we all wish we were invited to, but we are left to sit on our decks and look enviously at the BMWs being valet-parked.

We also have several kids on the street. Malcolm is the adopted child of the log cabin republicans. He eats all my food and pronounces it delicious, and I love him for this. (He also admitted that if it were up to him, he'd vote Kerry.) Then there's Michael and Elizabeth, children who belong to our drinking buddies. We often sip expensive wine, chased by Miller Lite, while the children perform little plays that none of us can remember the next day.

However, there's also a very strange little child on the street--he's German or Nordic or something and even though he's the same age as the other children, he's never allowed to come and play. He's often attended by a hot nanny, probably also Nordic. "Oh, little Torvald cannot play with the riff-raff," we imagine they say. "He must study his calculus." Since our children are often out late, setting off firecrackers and dressing up in tutus and pirate outfits, who can blame them?

In the starter house live Angela and Bill. This house can't keep occupants for more than two years, because it's so small. They have a baby and I suspect they got married because it was time to do that. It seems like they do everything on schedule. (Although she did admit to me she doesn't cook or clean. I found this admirable.)

We also have the gay man who pretends he's not gay, the trust-fund guy in the expensive small house (and that Carolyn Bessette clone, damn her), the eccentrically dressed gardeners, the death-metal teenage girl, the uptight guy who sends group letters to the street demanding payment for the snowplow guy, the architects, and the Federal Hill escapees, who keep trying to landscape their yard but can't really get the hang of it, so their pachysandra is in weird little clumps.

However, I think the most telling thing about my street is what the liquor delivery guy said to me when he came to bring me beer. "It's weird," he said as I took my giant case of corona from him. "I haven't been up here in a couple days, and normally I'm up and down this street a couple times a night." Here he paused, as though he wasn't sure he should say this, and then he went ahead. "Y'all are really a drinking bunch up here, aren't you?"

*all names have been changed to protect those who would probably not want to be blogged about


At 8:02 PM, Blogger The Cybrarian said...

That delivery guy is fucking hot. I'll give you $20 if you grope his tacklebox.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger XLT said...

Hmmm. Yup. You're full house sure-as-shit beats my two pair on the Texas Hold'em game of eccentric neighbors. All I've got is a couple'o Goddies and two recluses.

By the way, who delivers booze? I'm still gettin' mine from the Korean Guy on Harford. Spill it.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Claire said...

Oh no way, I'm not telling who delivers the booze. It's the road to perdition, you know. Anyway, they have a very limited geographic area.

However, their service is impeccable. I left a pack of cigarettes on the counter one night. When I got to Marcie's I called over there and was like "Ohhhh pleeease will you bring me my smokes I forgot?" And they did! A bit reluctantly, but they did it. (That hot boy loves me.)


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