A power saw to the montrosity to shred it to smithereens.
Poison in the water for the bad neighbor who isn’t doing what he said he’d do and making my home hell.
Slicing the cord running outside his home that powers that damn monster.
Tearing apart limbs joint by joint.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens.
Forget those! None’s my favorite thing. Not today.
I like my ideas a whole lot better – today.
I’ve got a swamp cooler (aka evaporative cooler) next to me — 20 steps outside my door — the size of a Japanese car.
It SOUNDS like a Japanese car with its engine idling.
Also SOUNDS like a police car with its siren blaring. Telling you to pull over. Unless it’s your lucky day and he’s after somebody else. Whew. Wipe brow.
The Montrosity needs repairs. But the landlord — my lying thieving landlord I discovered but that’s another tale — won’t repair it like the law requires. And she won’t let me repair it by hiring and paying for a serviceman.
So I’m kneecapped. Powerless. Stymied. Screwed.
James my neighbor is the one with the swamp cooler. He’s 20. Living on his own for the first time. He’s not a bad boy doing bad things in the world because he can. He’s not out front pulling wings off flies or swinging cats by their tails.
Immature, yes. But he’s not stupid.
What he is is forgetful. Fucking forgetful.
It’s making him a bad neighbor. A Fucking Bad Neighbor.
A month ago we talked about turning off the Montrosity for noise reduction when it’s not too hot.
He agreed. Moreover, he understood the pain of migraines. I get migraines. They make sounds unbearable.
We had a short hot spell. Even then, nights were still pleasant.
Now the monsoon season’s just started. Temps are down. Like 85 in the day, 60 at night.
ZERO need for a swamp cooler! In fact, using a swamp cooler’s useless in humidity!
Still, he lets that motherfucking monstrosity run.
For one reason: JAMES NEVER TURNS IT OFF! Even though he promised he would. Even though it’s not hot. Even though he’s NOT HOME.
That monstrosity is on 24/7 and HAS BEEN for a month.
Swear to god, a blizzard could be raging and he’d still run that damn thing.
That’s James. Paying zero attention. Not being a man of his word. Not thinking of the impact of his actions — or lack of action — on others.
That’s James. Being A Bad Neighbor.
A month it’s been since talk. The swamp cooler tally:
2 wins – 27 losses
Bad Neighbor, James in #8. Bad Neighbor.
I’m really screwed now. He’s not been home for days so I can’t even talk to him about this.
Talk we must. It must happen. It’s the right thing to do.
I suspect he’s away for the holiday Monday. Don’t know. Don’t need to know. Don’t care.
I care about only one thing:
Is he being a good neighbor.
He is NOT. He gets an F. For failing to do what he said he’d do. An F for fucking up the flow of harmony and goodwill. An F for Failing to Be a Good Neighbor.
He’s been irresponsible. Oblivious. Forgetful. Unreliable. Undependable. Not to be trusted. Not to be believed.
Only one person can fix that. Only one person can do what was promised. Only one person can step up to the plate and be a man. Be a good neighbor.
That is James in #8 mobile home.
Looks like I’ll hafta wait ’til after the July 4 holiday to talk to him.
By then, his win-lose tally’ll be about 2-36.
+ + +
Here’s what I wanna tell the world:
It is SO MUCH EASIER to do the right thing than the wrong thing.
It’s SO SIMPLE to be thoughtful. Considerate. Kind. Responsive.
For James specifically: It’s SO easy to do the right thing.
It’s SO SIMPLE to ask himself: “Is it hot? Do I need this on?”
To ask himself: “I’m not even home. Do I need this on?”
It’s SO EASY to push a button. That is ALL he has to do.
With one simple push of a button, goodwill flows into the world. Into the neighborhood. Into the tiny narrow space separating his place from mine.
People can choose to be bad.
Or they can be good.
They can do the wrong thing — sometimes the fucking wrong thing. Heinous crimes and all that.
Or they can do the right thing.
I certainly don’t know all there is to know in life. But I do know:
The simplest action is usually the right action.
When you do the right thing, you are above reproach.
When you do the right thing, everyone benefits.
When you do the right thing, it is inherent goodness.
So I am requesting again of James in #8 mobile home:
Do the right thing.
Be a Good Neighbor.
You can do better. I know you can. You know you can.
If you will not, then please vacate the space so another who is a good neighbor can come.
It’s how it is here. The layout, the vibe, the energy, the character of the park.
If you don’t fit, then you need to go. Not the good neighbors. The bad neighbors. Your call, James. Your growth. Your choice. Your goodbye if you continue to fail, as you’ve so horribly have, in being a good neighbor.
This request is fair, just, honest. It is aligned with the spirit of goodwill, harmony and neighborliness.
It is for the good of all.