The Lifespan of a Fly


An Amicable Conversation with a Drunk and No Pants
June 27, 2011, 7:23 AM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I still remember the first apartment Mike and I lived in together. It had peeling laminate and windows that could maybe save 1.5 legs if a fire occurred, which they did regularly. That would have to be due to The Gas Pump, a bar from the early seventies located at the bottom of our apartment building. It hasn’t changed since the seventies, including the patrons who have since grown harsher as the years have passed. Every night the shouts and screams of middle-aged drunks in the midst of their mating rituals floated up and into our bedroom, lulling us to sleep. The sounds of sirens would wake us up as yet another fire was started, either by the drunks of by the homeless people who would sleep in our stairwells and light fires to stay warm. Mike and I would look at each other, debate how much we wanted to stand outside in January weather, at 2 a.m., in our pajamas and instead decide to just go back to sleep. Six months later we moved.

That was seven years ago, and finally, the patrons of the Gas Pump have found us. Actually, it was the ghetto that found us. Sure, it’s unlikely you’re going to be pumped full of ammunition in my neighbourhood (although it has happened), but try to cross the street without meeting a gangster (15 years old and pissed off that Mom took his PS3 away), or having your bottles stolen by the multitudes of bottle people.

I have a bat, and it has pointy edges, and I practiced hitting intruders with it. I don’t want to kill someone, just maim them.

So anyhow, we’ve got new neighbours. That’s right, the Crackheads next door moved out (and by moved out I mean trashed the place and abandoned it), but it’s all good because they’ve been replaced by drunks. I sorta miss the Crackheads though. At least they hid out in their condo and smoked crack and I could only hear them yelling and screaming through the vents. The drunks have taken this to a whole new level.

I have to give them some credit though, they are more apt at yard work then the prisoners on day release whose only job it is to cut our lawn, when they come, which is next to never. The drunks are all about keeping a nice and tidy lawn. So much so that they’ve decided that 4 a.m. is a wonderful time to mow their 8’x10′ lawn with one of those push mowers from before electricity became a household item.

Granted it is nice and cool out at 4 a.m., but none the less, we needed to have a chat. I explained to one of the drunks (and I believe I’ll have to explain it to the other 10 that seems to sort of live there) that 4 a.m. isn’t exactly a “neighbourly” time to be shouting and boozing it up. I think our chat went very well, it definitely progressed after I asked him “You are drunk right now, aren’t you?” A question he could not deny, only confirm with a sad nod of his head.

Regardless, I think he and I may have reached an understanding: He shuts up after midnight, we get along wonderfully. He makes noise after midnight, I phone the police, his landlord and the condo board until they eventually remove him and he’s got to move back into his mother’s nursing home.

I think we’ve reached an agreement, but I wasn’t wearing any pants during this heart-to-heart. That may have had something to do with it.

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