I believe in bad neighbors. You know, the kind that sings ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as he’s walking down his street, while flicking off my poor old grandmother.
My neighbor is what you would consider a ‘bad neighbor’. He’s the kind of person who throws beer bottles at your house, and I don’t mean in the general direction of your lawn, but literally, at your house, smashing the bottle against the brick. He’s also the kind of person who would allow his daughter, a few years older than me, to throw parties that go on from midnight to six in the morning, as they drink themselves silly, shrieking loudly at each other as I’m trying to dream about dancing butterflies and other innocent things. He doesn’t even bother to supervise these wild parties, let alone be there while they are happening.
He fishes too, and I don’t mean on a lake. He walks up and down the street with a fishing rod in hand, whistling show tunes and pretending to catch invisible fish. This is what he calls ‘exercise’. I, on the other hand, would have to call that a minor form of schizophrenia.
I see him as he dances down his street, singing horribly, wobbling from the too many Chiantis he drank at dinner and I smile a little bit. For some strange, out of this world reason that I can’t understand, I like this man. I enjoy being his neighbor. Though he bothers me to no end, I still can’t help but appreciate him.
It’s the little things he does that make my day brighter, or at least more amusing. I couldn’t say that he makes me particularly happy, but he does make me laugh. Like the time he swaggered over from his yard all the way to ours and startled us by politely knocking on the door and informing us to keep in mind that our house is only a few feet away from his, and whatever ‘garbage’ we put in our yard affects the appearance of his yard. He is, of course, referring to the LSU sign we stuck in our grass after they beat UGA, his favorite football team, at the football game that day.
When I look at him I realize how good I have it. My family, in all of our madness and anger, still love each other. I’m not sure if his family is all that close. I’ve never thrown wild parties (OK they were wild, but there was no alcohol involved) and I don’t sing too loudly as I walk down my street. But I realize that my family, and probably all families, have some tendencies to be very strange. It’s human nature, after all. But when I see him, that bad neighbor, that crazy guy down the street, I discover that I am not as crazy as him, and therefore can’t help but think, “thank God I’m not my neighbor.”
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