And little chirlen too. I wish everyone a happy oh-ten, may it kick aught-nine’s agey, saggy ass to the curb.
I’m not complaining much, as last year wasn’t bad for me. Got married, made friends, have work to do and a loving home and insurance and health. However, I’m always more excited about beginnings than middles or endings.
I’ve been ranting about this with little effect on Facebook and Fark, and can’t seem to get it off my chest. So, here goes the latest Drama from Thomas the Drama Llama. This guy cranks out more stories than the entire history of American soap operas, but I will spin out just a few recent highlights.
He moved into the neighborhood about a year and a half ago. I met him when I came home from work one afternoon while he and his helpers were moving furniture into the house. He paused from his work to introduce himself boisterously, often interrupting himself to scream obscenities at his help. From across the street. I knew right off this was a class act.
In this time, he’s had 2 live-in girlfriends, 4 engagements complete with ring, 5 different vehicles, a dozen space heaters (the gas company wouldn’t give him credit), and no less than 18 different phones and phone numbers. Not to mention at least 5 different business names. When we met, he told me he was an enlisted officer in the Army. Special Forces. His girlfriend, the Marine, had some boot camp photos and awards on display, but Thomas said all his awards were his scars and tattoos.
Once the Marine girlfriend moved out because she was tired of his shit, he announced that he was redeploying with the Marines. “What? I thought you were Army!” I exclaimed. He said I must have heard him wrong, he was always a Marine. He even got a shiny new globe & anchor tattoo to declare his devotion to the Corps. A few weekends ago, his new live-in girlfriend asked me if I knew where he was. I didn’t, but he called just minutes later to say he was in Germany. Just got back from a quick op in Afghanistan. He’d be back in the states tomorrow – total deployment: 4 days.
I’ve never been in the military, but this smells like bullshit to me.
Anyway, I’d gotten used to his style of loud and wild proclamations of plans to do this or that, how much money he brung in this week, or how badass he is. Disagreeing, questioning, or correcting didn’t work – just wasn’t worth it. Smile and nod, be friendly and neighborly, share a beer or a lend some help every once in a while. That was my MO, and it had been working until last week.
He was in need of some help in his tree business, and asked if I’d be game to be part of his crew the next day. I rearranged some things and told him I could do it, but had to drive myself so I could be to a 5:30 appointment. A few minutes later, he called back and said nevermind, he found another guy to take my place. After we had made arrangements. Pissed me off a little, but that’s Thomas. I found something else to do with my day.
Later in the afternoon, he called to ask what was going on at his house. This is not unusual, he’s paranoid of people messing with his stuff or stealing things, and he’s always kept a sharp eye out on the Tiny House. I reported what I saw: Nothing. One of his trucks with a rented chipper were in the driveway, nobody else is around. Several hours later, his girlfriend knocks on the door and says she has to run some errands, but doesn’t know how to disengage the chipper. It’s a big yellow beastly trailer that can chew up entire trees, so I go over and help unhook it. She drives off, and we go back to our TV marathon.
A while later Thomas calls again. He says he saw the law at his house when he was on the way home, so he kept on driving. He was gonna keep driving ’till he got where he was going, and he wouldn’t tell me where or why. I said, ‘whatever.’
Now, I hate getting ‘whatevered’ – it’s about the worst thing, IMO. It means you don’t care, or don’t believe the other person. It’s rare for me to say that, because I do care and want everyone to be happy… but I was at the end of my rope. He said, “Well I hope I haven’t pissed you off.”
“Look Thomas, I don’t know whatever you’re up to, but good luck. If there’s anything I can help with, let me know.” And that was that.
The next day, his house was deserted. No trucks, no chipper, no lights on. He called from a restricted number, said he was almost to Utah. His girlfriend must have moved out too, he didn’t know where she was going. Just then, I heard a mewling from the street – their two kittens were tentatively making their way across the dark street. Baby cats, maybe 3 months old. It was fecking cold, and would be below freezing that night.
“Your cats are outside,” I told him. “Oh… uh, she must have put them out. Can you bring ’em to a shelter?”
That’s when the switch flipped for me. I was done smiling and nodding, letting him think I believed whatever he spewed. He said, “Look, let me know if the law wants to talk to you. I didn’t do anything.”
As coincidence would have it, a Sheriff’s investigator stopped by shortly after I got home to ask if I knew anything about Thomas. I said sure, we’ve been neighbors a while. He asked if I knew his real name. I had to admit, I didn’t. He went by several names, but I never asked to see his driver’s license – who does that? Apparently, the Sheriff’s department didn’t know his name, or even what he looked like.
Thomas has called a few more times since then. Apparently he had heard the Sheriff had come to visit, and that he stayed here about 1/2 hour. I told him no, it was about 10 minutes – and by the way, who’s reporting on visitors to my home? He wouldn’t answer, but offered that he’s been charged with a felony, something about a trailer he bought. He’s in California, doesn’t know what he’ll be doing.
Last night, about 1:00 AM, he called again. As soon as I said hello, he began cussing me out, calling me a snitch. “What are you talking about?” I demanded. He said I helped the Law and I’d regret it. “Are you threatening me?” I asked. He hung up.
My fervent hope for the new year is that they don’t come back, and we get normal neighbors.
Anybody want some kittens?