Took a walk last night down the railroad tracks. THAT was interesting, for about 5 minutes, until the nonexistent trains I kept hearing bugged my shit right out and I had to bail on the remaining 2/3ds of the planned amble.
Obviously, I need to work up to being frightened of REAL trains before I’m any kind of track walker.
I learned a few things during the brief foray, one of which is that the little convenience store across the tracks sells Wild Irish Rose. Quite a substantial amount of it, judging by the number of bottles smashed on the railroad ties and ground into the gravel. This little convenience store is a hub of activity for the folks who live on that side of the tracks, sometimes hosting rather a gaggle of people out front laughing and blasting music from their cars. Next to the store is a little row of houses; those that have front porches ALWAYS seem to have people out taking the air and talking. Those people have a sense of neighborhood that the folks on MY side of the tracks do not. I’m betting they know each other’s names, even! We on the westward side raise a hand in greeting when someone from the block drives by, but I wouldn’t know most of them if they were in the same aisle as me a the grocery store.
For some of them, this is a wonderful thing, for some of my neighbors are…a tiny bit trashy.
There’s a house on the corner that has two dump cars sitting in the back yard, along with a trailer of trash, a broken down garden shed, and god knows what all else. There’s also a pool in there someplace, as well as a vegetable garden in the side yard, so it’s not ALL bad, I guess. Just mostly bad.
Across the street from them is a dog on a chain. Usually. Unless she’s running around the neighborhood not paying attention to the horde of rettnecks who are running after her screaming at her to LISTEN TO THEM. Pup’s been on that line since they brought her home, no wonder she doesn’t know how to behave. Heck, I might run too if a half-a-whale of a screaming tomato-faced woman in a tank top and no bra wanted me to go home with her.
Kitty corner from the first house is a house with inexplicable metal yard art plonked into random spots then left to be overgrown with what I suspect are purposeful plantings but that seem to have had a dose of radiation. This house also needs a coat of paint in a most urgent fashion, yet the inhabitants thereof do not seem like ‘urgent’ people, and so paint slowly flakes off, revealing the history underneath. Very klassy.
Thinking on it, the yard-art people I might like to get to know, because the people who have the cajones to put a 6-foot-tall metal giraffe in their front yard might be interesting to chat up, but the other folks? Not so much. I hear The Trash Couple shoutin’ and carrying on, sometimes very very loudly, indeed so loudly that the local constabulary needs to be called in to hush the proceedings, and I think “this is not the well-manicured suburban neighborhood of my youth, and i am distinctly uncomfortable at the thought.”
These folks don’t hide their issues at all. EVERYBODY knows when they’re having a row. It’s quite a bit more ‘in your face’ than what I’m used to or really would prefer, but perhaps there’s something in the loud brawl available for neighborhood consumption that serves as a vent, because the next day they’re out in the yard weeding the tomato patch, seemingly content. I don’t know. People where I grew up did not brawl, fight, row, or argue openly; at the very least they took it inside and shut to windows before starting up.
Perhaps the loud brawling is what the Wild Irish Rose’ll do to ya.
(Actually, he’s a Bud Light drinker and she’s a ‘something’ and cola girl. Whatever. It’s hard to tie all this up in something that resembles a coherent thought. Deal widdit.)
I like my neighborhood, I really do. I like that it’s not all Stepford and HOA’ed out. I like that people have personalities, that the Mexican guys down the street play loud music on occasion, that the guy across the street from us feels compelled to talk about the new irrigation system he just rigged up, even if it DOES only have one emitter, and how he’s moving to Florida any day now and how he’s got a black belt in karate and how he was a Navy Seal (or is it a Special Forces Operative? The story changes) and how he’s just sold a million-dollar beach house but needs to move because business here is bad (and how bad can it be? It’s NC, for Pete’s sake. Everyone around here seems to have a lawn service, which is what he does….), and how he’s got a metal plate in his head from the war, and how he goes to cowboy church and has bad teeth and on and on and on…..
I kind of like that, in small doses.
I also like that the lady across the street is really quiet.
It’s a different sort of place, that much is for sure, with all kinds of people living in it, and that’s also something to like. Mixin’ it up with the homeslices, y’all, it’s what I do now.
But mostly, I just wave at them when they drive by, because really? That’s how I mix it.
What’s your neighborhood experience? You have the picket fence and manicured lawns type of place? City dweller? Farmer? Let us know, won’t you?
And have a nice day.
(PS - the Tiny House is likely to get a coat of paint soon. What color would YOU recommend?)