I almost just typed "next store"...what the hell is that about?
Anyhoo, about my next-door neighbor, who has been screaming on the phone for the last half-hour, making it difficult if not impossible to concentrate on anything:
1. First and foremost, he is from Boston. Translation: he is filled with rage. (Note well, I am also from Boston).
2. To keep his rage under control, he smokes a lot of pot. Like, a lot. Because if he doesn't, he gets "really aggro." And by a lot of pot, I mean "so much that the hallway on our floor pretty much always smells like pot." Nice when Grandma comes to visit.
3. Because he is such a weedhead and fits the stoner stereotype (shoulder-length blond hair, never wears a shirt, wears surfer clothes), we refer to him as "Dude."
4. Dude is married. Second or possibly third marriage -- he has one child from his previous marriage, but also has a stepson and a stepdaughter from someone before that. None of these children live with him, but they occasionally visit.
5. He claims he is thirty-six years old.
6. His wife, a twenty-seven year-old lovely from Japan, has left him more than once because she has caught him cheating on her.
7. He continues to cheat on her, and regularly brings his girlfriend to their apartment while his wife is at work.
8. The girlfriend is married, is a former friend of Dude's wife, and is practically a clone of Dude's wife (i.e., also a young, slim Japanese woman with long dark hair and high heels).
9. The reason Dude can bring the girlfriend over during the day is that he does not have the standard 9-to-5 gig. Since I have known him, he has worked as a stripper, a model, and a "concierge." In this last assignment, he was paid to procure drugs for a wealthy older gay man and then go back to his house to sit around with his shirt off while the man partook of said substances. Oh, and he also at one point was selling supplements. You know, the kinds the bodybuilders take.
10. I am not making any of this up. How could I?
Anyway, for a good portion of this afternoon, Dude has been on the phone with his girlfriend, on speakerphone. He yells at her for a couple of minutes, she hangs up, and then he calls her back. This has gone on for at least forty-five minutes now. He clearly thrives on drama.
I, on the other hand, could use some peace and quiet. My bedroom, where I like to write because all my writing stuff is at hand and I can hide it quickly if Viva wakes up unexpectedly, backs up to Dude's living room. So my writing time has been compromised somewhat today, but I have to give Dude some props because he may show up in one of my stories some day, with details ever so slightly altered. Have I mentioned that he has a dead tooth? Right in the front?
Booh-yah! I wish I had some microwave popcorn right now. It is quite a show. I might just call Mark Burnett and see if he wants to make a reality show out of this. Have I mentioned that the wife is bisexual? Is that titillating enough for prime-time? I have to say yes, yes it is.
I don't feel I am properly conveying just what a character Dude is, so give me one more shot at it: on their holiday card (yes, we're on their Christmas list!), Dude is wearing a crimson suit. With a crimson shirt. With a crimson tie. With a crimson belt. And parts of his suit, like his lapels, are shiny. And Dude's wife is wearing a dark velvet number with her midriff showing. Hot damn! Can you picture it? Because when I first saw this card, it took my breath away. I mean, come on.
The beauty of this too is that Sweet William and Dude, over time, have become friends of a sort. Sweet Willie goes next-door to watch football and such. This is one of those things that no one can prepare you for. Marriage brings all sorts of surprises.
And the fruit of that marriage is now making sounds via the baby monitor, indicating that she is awake and in need of attention. So for now, I must bid you adieu...