…because my annoying assed neighbor said we should…?
The same idiot who thankfully just moved out.
Still, for 6 months I’ve tolerated that old fool, and now living here is like starting all over again with a whole new perspective on Montana …without his incessant weekly-interruptions and other bad habits which drove me insane…!?
It didn’t start out all bad, instead we’d say hello and be casual in our conversations; mostly dealing with my dogs, the weather, and a little about our families, etc. But about 4 months ago something changed and he began asking more personal questions and about my inability to find a job. While I have no problem as you can see writing about it, actually talking about it; or worse being asked about it by a man I scarcely recall his name is highly offensive.
If it were an old friend it would be one thing, and I’d take it in stride, but this guy was a dickhead and it bothered me enough that I told him so. Still, he was relentless and only after a few weeks did it sink in; something’s not right with this guy ‘up-stairs’? He seemed to forget what we’d just said the week and sometimes even day before; and we’d recap the exact same conversation over and over for a month or two and I’d stand there shaking my head wondering what the %#@*?
Finally, the subject came up which explained everything and as usual I barely got a word in edgewise. The dude, who was roughly 60, said:”What’s your stance on this whole legalizing pot thing?”
..Then he answered it before I could say a word, so I knew which side he was on…”I think it’s all a bunch of bullshit they still arrest folks. You know California; now out there, I think they’re gonna legalize it eventually.”…”Yup, I’ll go ahead and tell you I used to smoke a bit. In fact was pretty involved in it for a while there and dealing back in my twenties and thirties. Then did a stretch for it bout 4 years, when they caught me with ten pounds of hash and some coke.” “But that’s all in the past don’t you worry, I just still like to smoke a little weed every now and again is all?”
I could tell he was referring to just a few minutes ago and then picked up the telltale aroma of the product itself on him, and in his’ breathe as he continued… “Yup, California, now that’s where I’d like to live.” He said
Since I have a strict policy of never discussing politics or religion with folks, not even close friends, I simply began asking questions as to Montana’s laws about medicinal-use; as it seemed this fella could probably get a prescription from any doctor just to get his annoying ass out of the clinic; regardless of any ailment he might of conjured up?
“Yup, they call it ‘a green card’ here; and I would, but the wife doesn’t like me smoking it, cause she knows my past. But when she’s away I partake from time to time.”
I felt an invitation coming on seeing as how his wife was out of town, but decided I’d best tell him no beforehand; just to avoid the situation. “Yeah, I used to smoke quite a bit myself, but don’t anymore. Especially now with trying to get a job, last thing I need is another reason for them not to hire me?”
And shit if I didn’t say that and realized it afterward; as now it was an open invitation of another sort when he began asking me about my search for work, till I just walked away midsentence and gathered up my dogs along the way.
A week to the day later, we had this exact conversation as if it’d never happened and I was stunned he never picked up on this even when I hinted at it twice by saying so:”Uh, yeah, I think you told me that already?”
- Back on the plantations I ran into three different old fools who did the same thing; first there was Harry who for over a year told me the same five stories every time we rode together and at least 50 times each. Worse then, was having to hear Gus, the retiree who drove me and the guests form covey to covey in our jeep, while I handled the dog work. He only had three good stories and I’d made the mistake of telling him so when he’d first told them to me and some hunters; but after hearing the same three on the morning-hunt, then the same three on the afternoon for 60 straight hunts, I damn near took one of the shotguns out of a guests’ hands one day and shot the old bastard!?
I wasn’t at the next plantation 36 hours fore our head-guide Willie told me a story twice and then I knew I was in trouble…
Now I had a neighbor in Montana who couldn’t recall a conversation that took place two days ago and it quickly became a game of ‘avoid the old dude.’ (Seriously I’ve lived next the guy 6 months and couldn’t begin to tell you what his Christian name is?)
-For the sake of the story I’ll hereby call him Dick, though he looked more like a Fred.
...The day he knocked on the door and woke me from my afternoon nap, I was furious and he could tell. The fact I’ve got at least a foot-and-half on him and outweigh him by 150; wasn’t what made him run off my porch at a quick clip as much as the fact I didn’t say anything except gave him the look of death (something I’ve mastered over the years and never fails).
He mumbled something about “we have gas now, so we can mow our lawns?” Little did he realize who he lived next to as my eyes shut again and I drifted into darkness I told that sorry son of a bitch in my REM sleep what I’ve told countless landlords before; ‘Moe don’t mow shit, unless told to do so’ (and as it happened it was month later till I did; after my boss/landlord told me too).
It’s not that I’m lazy entirely, though that’s at least part of the problem, it’s that this thing with lawns dates back over 28 years to my Dad insisting I do our own; and my adamant refusal to telling him “it’s %#@*ing pointless, it’ll just grow back?”
I was eleven at the time and my father threw me from one end of our house to the other and once I regained consciousness he made me mow that #@%* damned lawn every weekend thru my teens.
I knew once I started I couldn’t stop, as was my nature to quit things mid-stride/season and have numerous employers who will attest to this rebellious attitude I’ve taken since, along with several frustrated ex-landlords too. Granted it was getting bad once I finally did, as poor Suzie would disappear every other leap trying to keep-pace with Mocha, in my front-yard.
Dick was the type pot smoker that wasn’t all laid back like a Woody Haralson or a Mathew McCanawhatever; instead he was a Robin Williams-sort and another reason if at all cost we should never legalize this drug.
...Who knows how many people he’s lived next to who never knew why he was so screwed up in the head? Hell, even at 7 in the morning he was annoying and if I opened the door to let the girls run out back, he’d say:
”Hey Moe how’s it going?”
..And I’d be startled to find him out so early, usually saying “Fine” then slamming the door in his fat little face.
I eventually hated him as I do most of the people I’ve know over extended periods of time. I even began mocking him to my dogs behind his back, and they seemed to get a real kick out of it, though I can never be sure?
Even the way he walked and parked his car or clapped and whistled for his fat dog to come inside at night drove me mad.
When he left his porch light on all night it would illuminate the entire interior of my own singlewide, and though I’d asked him dozens of time not too; he was inevitably stoned and forgot; which required me to get up in the middle of the night and throw a blanket over my own windows then curse the day he was born to get myself back to sleep.
The knocking though was the worst and to have that threat of being disturbed or interrupted at any hour was what nearly drove me to murder. Every time I set foot outside there was always the possibility of a :”Hey Moe…” from out of nowhere and avoided going outside for a spell.
....When the last knock came it was to announce they were "moving out" and I tried not to cry in front of him at the news; I was so happy. But even in departure the bastard held one more insult to injury and flat-out asked me:”Hey, you think you’d help me and the wife move…?”
“Uh, yeah I guess?” What the %#@* are you saying? I asked myself.
“Oh that’s great. Just come over this weekend when you see the U-Haul and it won’t take long I swear.”
“Uh, alright I guess?” I still couldn’t stop saying ‘yes’; what the hell is wrong with me?
“I know you’ve had back surgery”… (true, and had told him at one point; surprised he remembered), “so I won’t make you lift anything too heavy.”
Still, as Saturday rolled around and I’d cursed him for asking, me for accepting, and contemplated helping; I determined if possible I’d try to get out of it..?
I recalled distinctly being showed his wrap around foldout couch (twice), his telling me he “owned that washer and dryer” and even showed me all the cycles it had one day; like I cared; then there was that “antique organ” he raved about, but instead was nothing but a old garage-sale piece of shit he’d been suckered into buying at one time, couldn’t play (as I asked him), and to top it off it sat out in the shed cause it was too wide to fit in the singlewide?
So Saturday morning arrived and when I woke I had forgotten my obligation conveniently, though not even planned; just the usual absent minded till I heard the truck pull in around nine and said “Aw shit?”
I didn’t dare show my face and instead snuck around front to let the girls take a piss. It was almost like Mocha and Suzie were in on the coup; without using voice commands or a whistle, I threw two looping hand signals once they were finished, and we were all back inside within minutes undetected.
I paced back and forth as to what to do? ‘Should I suck it up and go help? I mean shit their old folks, they can’t lift that organ or couch’ I asked myself..?!
Ultimately my stomach decided for all of us and craving McDonalds and figuring it wasn’t likely to be the night-shift I’d been in disagreement with (long story), I thought the perfect thing to start the day would be a sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle with hash brown and orange juice..?
I got dressed quickly, readied the girls with instruction not to fuck around and ‘jump right in when I say too okay’; then opened the front door and raced for my truck.
While backing up I’m sure we were seen, but by then my mind was made up “I was just causally going to McDonalds on a Saturday morning”; it’s perfectly understandable I’ve somehow not noticed the huge red and white U-Haul and that its Saturday and that some asshole asked me to help him move out when I can’t even remember his real name?’
And so it went, I decided after a leisurely breakfast‘a trip through downtown Bozeman was in order’; so the girls could hang their heads out the window while Daddy’s conscience took a beating.
Then, not thinking we’d been gone long enough, I stopped at my favorite old bookstore and not having any money didn’t buy shit; but wasted a good hour still. By noon I figured the girls might need a run, so I went to the local dog-park and let them do their thing.
...By 1 o’clock I figured all the heavy-lifting would be done, I had rehearsed my bullshit story enough times I could say it without use of script if questioned; and decided it was time to head home...
The fact I was an hour past the time when I took my daily-nap, had me hoping they’d already left, and the whole way back I argued with myself over how stupid it was for him to ask me in the first place?
We were over 300 yards out when it looked like "maybe, just maybe they’ve gone”…I began saying aloud. Still, I wasn’t quite sure and let off the gas as we coasted to within a hundred yards thinking:“please dear God tell me they’ve already left..?”
...And for the first time ever the lord reached down and granted me my wish, and I pulled in with a wide smile across my face, and new lease on life; here in Bozeman, Montana.