Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday mornings in paradise

Sunday morning and the bozo from across the street has a couple of his grubby looking flunkies working on his small fleet of cars and trucks. The guy is the neighborhood's local supervillain. He does landscaping work and probably construction clean-up. On any given day, he's got a big-ass club cab truck with a trailer full of crap parked behind it, at least one beat to shit car and an assortment of heavy equipment including anything from a bulldozer to a bizarre looking device I think is used to take down redwood trees.

My neighborhood is on a narrow, dead end street. The street is always choked with vehicles. Parking is always at a premium and if you show up at the wrong time, usually after 5 p.m. on Friday, you're probably walking a block or two to your house.

I love the bozo. Everybody bitches about him. In pairs, they meet out in the street to complain at each other about his rather unneighborly use of the street. For his part, the guy doesn't really give a rat's ass what people say. He's going to park his trailer full of wood and his truck and his bulldozer and whatever the else he owns right where he can see it. Fuck all! He'll park a God damned Sherman tank on the street if he wants.

The local busybody has suggested one of us might call the city. Evidently, he can be cited for something. What exactly, sounds vague, sinister and oppressive. I'm getting enough of that as it is, but so far, no one has been willing to stick their neck out. As for me, I don't care. As long as people are complaining about the bozo, they won't be paying any attention to the noise and chaos emanating in waves from my front door. If I had the money, I'd buy the guy an ugly old Cadillac, donate it anonymously. It could be his summer home, if he wanted.

Across the street, a couple of the bozo's kids hang out of the back window like monkeys at the zoo. Their long arms hold stolen cigarettes and they practically crawl out to take a puff. I know the cigarettes are stolen because say what you like, there isn't a clerk within three counties who'd sell a pack of Marlboros to a fourteen year-old. At least, they wouldn't do it in this day and age. When I was a kid, you could get cigarettes out of vending machines. People started smoking somewhere around the third grade.

The Bozo's kids see me staring and wither. They've been found out by an adult. If I can catch them, they have to figure the old man will be on to them shortly and undoubtedly, the cigarettes they're smoking belong to him. He would likely complain. The damned things are expensive.

In the street, avoiding the Bozo's buddies, little kids from the neighborhood ride scooters and dodge the cars coming and going to church. I watch the drivers' of the SUVs and trucks mutter under their breaths as they wait for eight-year-olds and younger creep out of the way. On crowded streets everybody is in a hurry except the people with nowhere to go.

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