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2002-03-24 - 8:09 a.m.

The mariachi man who lives in the prefab rental house behind my apt has a pigeon he keeps in a bird cage. Why would anyone keep a pigeon? - they're everywhere! It's like keeping a grackle. Plus, I feel kind of sorry for the poor bird. It's in this little bitty cage, like grannies keep budgies in. He's a strange man, though. The only things I like about him are his mariachi outfit and the fact that he feeds the birds. But he and his wife are always yelling at each other and having loud fights, he has a busted out old car that takes up valuable space and which he never does anything to (he has a perfectly nice, working car also ... taking up two spaces when everyone else gets one), he has a bunch of trash and garbage stored behind his house, and he barbeques on this little barbeque-er (is that a word?) and makes so much fire near so many cars filled with so much combustible gasoline in a neighborhood where there have been so many fires that I get nervous. Plus he always gives Verona and me the hairy eyeball. I will not miss him.

I will also not miss the unfriendly woman downstairs. She likes to pretend that none of us exist. She runs from her car to her door and back again. Once she left her headlights on, so I, trying to be neighborly, went and knocked on her door to let her know. She refused to answer the door. She calls the maintenance man and then won't let him in. It's possible she has some sort of disorder that causes this behavior, yet she goes to work every day, does her shopping, etc.

I will kind of miss my next door neighbor. He has anti-UN and anti-liberal stickers all over his car, has NRA stuff posted everywhere, and is kind of scary looking ... but he's very nice, loves animals (he liberates mistreated animals in the neighborhood and bestows them upon friends), is really nice to all of our friends (obviously gay ones, people of all races, etc.), gets along with everyone, and has always been totally cool and friendly with Verona. Texas contradictions.

I will not miss the landlord. Although we have said we will pay the remaining rent until the lease is up and will keep gas/lights/etc. on until that date, he has refused to come across with paperwork the mortgage company needs, has been verbally abusive over the phone with me and with the representative from the mortgage company, has churlishly faxed over paperwork which he has refrained from filling out, etc. Whenever I speak to him I come away feeling as though I've been dealing with a spoiled brat. And I cannot figure out what his problem is. We aren't breaking the lease, he's getting all of his freaking money ... I don't know. He's an asshole.

I will not miss the men in the building next door. They are always blasting loud music and they frequently sit in the back drinking beer upon beer, staring rudely and challengingly at me whenever I go back there. I hate them. I hate people who abuse the ears of strangers with their music. I hate men who try to intimidate me when I have just as much right to be in a place as they do. They do the same thing to Verona. She hates them, too.

I will not miss the mailman. I hate him. He has destroyed or lost every important piece of mail I ever received (or didn't receive) since I've lived here. He mangled my teaching certificate. He misplaced important forms at the post office so that, by the time they were found, I was late sending them in. I hate him with a stone passion.

There is a new tenant downstairs, and I think she's a lesbian. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to get to know her, just smiles and exchanged greetings when we see each other outside. She's not home very much. If I had become friends with her, I would miss her.

In other news ...

The other night Vero and I went out to dinner with Paulson and with a friend of Vero's from work ... we'll call him Tómas. It was fun, but it's always kind of weird meeting people you're going to be friends with. See - because Vero is finally comfortable with "coming out" to some folks at her work, and they are the people she will be able to invite over. Previously, all of the people "in the know" were originally my friends. So, it's important that I be able to get along with and find common interests with these folks. Not that we have to share all our friends - I just want us both to feel good about her having people over. If that makes sense. Anyway, I like Tómas, I was just nervous (and tired from a long day at work). Plus, he's a yankee, so he had a different manner than I'm accustomed to. He was very clipped and ... I don't know, just not a laid back southerner, I guess. It's not a bad thing ... just different from what I'm used to. He was a little uncomfortable, too; probably for the same reason.



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