Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Christ Lives Next Door

Quote of the Day: "The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails."
-James Joyce
When I lived next door to Jesus (I'm not kidding, the bearded carpenter next door really did look like Christ himself), the walls between our homes were so thin that I could hear every one of his phone conversations.

He'd awake at 5:30 or 6 in the morning and immediately begin banging around his home, making his phone calls. I'd awake to "Hi, Ma!," then he'd circle around his home and my apartment and roam the backyard that we shared as he continued his converstion with Ma in such a loud tone that I usually would get up and start my coffee rather than go back to sleep.

He had a cat that seemed to be about a thousand years old, a little black thing that would begin meowing incessantly on the few days that my neighbor did not awake at the crack of dawn. "Shut up, Nefirtiri!" he'd cry. "Goddammit, shut up!"

He was a trip, and though I had to change my sleeping habits, he remains my favorite neighbor. He was truly talented when it came to carpentry, and he enthusiastically joined me in constructing a pond in our yard.

One morning, Nefirtiri disappeared, and we searched everywhere for that old thing. Finally, Kim and I noticed a clump of gray and black fur in a nearby street. We told our neighbor, and he absorbed the information in his usual demeanor: in that loud voice he said, "Well, she was blind. She probably wondered out into the the street." Then, looking contemplative and slightly morose, he went back to whatever project he had going on the garage."


At 10:28 AM, Blogger Dorky Dad said...

Wow. Your neighbor doesn't seem like he liked his cat too much ...

At 8:50 PM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Sounds like your neighbor was slightly detached from life.

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Kimberly said...

For some reason this post made me sad. He really needs a dancin' partner (something other than an animal).

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Nicely written tale. Morning people creep me out, though. I hate getting up early when I have to for work and certainly don't like chipper phone callers at that time of day. But you paint a nice picture of said dude.


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