bunt sign

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back in olden times when I lived in town, in apartments and duplexes (and one time in a granny unit), I was a nervous neighbor. I didnít like other peopleís noise, and I especially didnít like other peopleís cars. Thatís mostly what I moved out into the country to get away from. Other people.

In my reckless youth, I would stand up for my rights by pounding on the walls or stomping on the floor, if I thought too much noise was coming through. To this day, nothing sets my teeth on edge more than hearing the bass line booming through the wall. I always made sure no one could hear me, and I expected the same consideration (which I rarely got).

Even when I got over the wall-pounding phase, I still had issues. If something was going on, I peeked through the mini-blinds. If a neighborís visitor was parked in my driveway, I camped out beside the window, alternately peeking and cursing until they left. I lost many nights of sleep worrying about things that I had no control over. Maybe thatís where I got into the habit.

Itís been almost five years since Iíve had to live under those conditions, and Iím a little bit out of that worrying habit. Then today, when I walked out to get my mail, I found a pickup truck parked at the end of my driveway (the part I share with the landlordís other property next door, so it wasnít exactly blocking me). There was a guy in the truck. He was reading the comics section of the paper.

Immediately my stomach tightened up. I walked by him and got my mail out of the box, then turned around and saw another pickup (a red one) parked along the side of my street a few feet west of the driveway. I had to wonder what was going on. It brought back a lot of bad memories, mostly of my own behavior. I didnít want to fall back into that pattern, but neither did I want some stranger parked that close to my house.

I did pretty well, though. Because of fences, shrubs and trees, I canít see that area from my house without pulling a stepping stool up to the bathroom window and, yes, peeking through the blinds. Iím proud to say I didnít do this as soon as I got back to the house (although I thought about it). I waited about half an hour before checking. Both trucks were gone, but the uneasiness stayed with me. I guess that will always be part of me.

13 June 2005

Wispy clouds out west.

Other than that, I was a good neighbor, back in town. Better, in fact, than most of the other residents of my apartment buildings and duplexes deserved. I hardly ever made noise. In the last place I lived, I even wore headphones when watching TV at night, even though I could often hear the bleeps and blats from their teenagersí video games at any and all hours. Except for the part where I donít like living near other people, you might not have minded being my neighbor, for all my faults.

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The Giants play three games this season on plastic grass, and those three games are this week in Minnesota. I know they have mosquitoes the size of vultures there, but I still say indoor baseball is just plain wrong. But tonightís pitching matchup was interesting: the Giantsí rookie making his first major league start in a year and a half against the Twinsí Cy Young award winner. As one-sided as it looked on paper, it was just about dead even on the field. Both starters gave up three runs, and it took eleven innings and one too many trips to the Giants bullpen for the Twins to pull out a 4-3 win.

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One year ago: Revival
"I have the Boss to the south, and Tim and Julie to the east. If the Pacific Ocean weren't due west of me, I'm sure I would have heard voices coming from there, too."

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