I never did anything that I can recall – or put my finger on – that would explain why she seemed to dislike me so much.
Perhaps, it was because the city’s inspectors were constantly over there. For a period of time I wasn’t sure if the police and the city inspectors had opened a new office over there – or they just liked to visit with her.
Maybe she thought it was me who was calling in complaining about the abandoned cars, and an old boat that had more holes in it than my head.
And I must confess, I wanted that vacant lot that was attached to the house where she lived .
In addition to the many piles of junk and the pit bull with the well worn circular path around the stake to which it was tied, the rest of the yard was covered with knee high weeds that spread out across the rest of the lot.
The little kids in the neighborhood used to claim that wild animals lived in the tall weeds.
Heck- I saw some of them. However, I never told anyone this -and left it as one of those urban legends.
Maybe it was the fact the pit bull named Dog, who didn’t have shelter or water, and barked constantly – maybe it was that that caught the attention of someone else in the neighborhood.
I merely lived quietly across the street.
I will admit to you, I had thought of calling the city and police several times but knew at some gut level that this wasn’t one of our neighborhood’s finest and friendliest families. It had nothing to do with my knowledge that one of the family members just got out of prison after serving a sentence related to drug and gang affiliation charges.
I do admit to having many nasty thoughts – they usually were the most intense when I was backing my large clumsy three quarter ton pickup out of out of my driveway always having to do special just to get out.
This was despite the “No Parking” sign on the street – an ordinance of the city. The sign was leaning to one side from someone hitting it with a car. Interesting, the damage to the sign somehow matched a dent to her car’s bumper.
I guess this law didn’t apply to her.
I confess my sins right now and admit to you that I thought very naughty things and had my explanations for these terrible thoughts well rehearsed in my head. They went something like this- ”Officer, I’m so sorry my truck just got a mind of its own and suddenly accelerated – at a unusually high rate of speed – as it lunged into the expensive car she owned. I’m very sorry my big reinforced bumper and large oversized steel hitch struck her door making it impossible to open.”
It’s so sad – I just feel terrible.
Yes I confessed these thoughts to Father Al many times. I have said my share of Hail Mary’s – trust me!
I’m grateful for a forgiving God.
Yes I coveted that lot. That big oversized lot – located right across from my house. An empty lot that size, in the middle of the city. Priceless! Even though it was full of junk cars and looked like an old salvage yard.
I had designed countless new shops that would fit so well on that big beautiful lot.
How I wanted it.
You see for the last 4 years I have been working in and out of an old garage that never hosted my own truck or car despite our harsh winters in Minnesota. It seems like most years, the extreme cold and snow usually starts about the day after the July 4th here in Minnesota. But it‘s only a small inconvenience having my truck and car in the driveway compared to not having my woodworking shop. Anyway, due to its low ceiling, to get the truck into the garage I would have had to let the air out of the tires. You see, this is proof positive it was meant to be a woodworking shop all along.
I always knew that.
The fact it had no heat or insulation and it gets below zero here in Minnesota was not a problem because I had a 100 pound propane cylinder and sunflower head.
My eyes watered so bad, everyone though I was crying. It was merely the lack of oxygen. Nothing serious, I don’t know a woodworker that isn’t willing to put up with- a little inconvenience just to be out working in their shop. Between you and me, I really thought I was going blind or at least had cataracts.
Now this shouldn’t be construed as ungratefulness for my workshop conditions. It just helps to explain my fantasy thoughts for that vacant lot directly across the street. The lights consisted of a cobbled string of those old florescent fixtures that when turned on, either blinked for what seemed about two days, or emitted a low hum that sounded like a wounded bumblebee.
This new shop I had designed in my mind for that vacant lot would not only allow me the luxury of not going out side to change my mind, as is necessary in my small shop – the new fantasy shop also included banks and banks of lights- so bright – it would cause the whole neighborhood to dim when I flipped the switch.
I dreamed of those days, everyday for three long years.
(Protected by copy write, all rights reserved ,D.Jerzak 2-21-2007)