Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Neighbor 1 Part 2

It was Sunday and I'd decided today I wouldn't work on the house.  Last night I stayed up until 2 AM to finish painting the bathroom.  So today was a free day I'd more than earned.

In the morning I shuffled out to the driveway to get the newspaper.  Nothing says weekend more than sipping espresso and lingering over the paper version; from the front page, to the editorials, to the comics.  On Sundays I need my fix of "Zits"in color, thank you very much.

Bending down to pick up the plastic-wrapped paper I felt each separate muscle in my back burst into a flaming pyre of aching agony halting me in mid-reach, just three inches from "Zits", "Doonesbury" and Sunday comfort.  After four weeks of continuous house painting the physical pain lingered.  

But today it didn't matter because today I.  Was.  Doing.  Nothing.  I would lie on the sofa, drink coffee and read all the comics.  With it out of arm's reach, my foot pushed the paper toward the front door.

"Nothing like a seven mile power walk to get the juices flowing," says Harold, our geriatric, nosy next-door neighbor.  He stopped in his marathon shoes to look down on me bent over like an uncoordinated gymnast.
"Hey, Harold," I said.  "Be careful out here in the hot sun."
"Me be careful?  You young people can't keep up," from his lawn he picked up hand weights and started doing curls.  Just watching him make me winded.  
But Harold was just getting going.  "I saw you painted the bedroom Navajo white," he said. 
"You looked in our window?"  
"You don't have curtains." 

Wow.  He looked in our window.  Okay, it was true.  I had bought fabric to make curtains but between work, commuting, the painting and cooking and just life in general I hadn't had the time to make the curtains.

"The color looks... okay," he continued.  "At least it beats the green sponged stuff."  
He looked in our windowS!  My sense of independence and freedom felt violated.  

"So when are you going to work on that lawn of yours?  Replant the dead grass?  Remove the weeds?"
He's telling me what to do?  "Seems like today is a good day for you to do yard work," he said doing curls while twisting at the waist.

"No, Harold, no yard work today," I said opening the front door and sliding the paper inside with my foot.

I closed the door, pulled out the sewing machine and bag of fabric.  Today is curtain making day.

The newspaper laid on the floor all day unopened.