This morning, contrary to my actual plan of writing a letter or two and heading out early for the gas pumps, Patrick called and said he wanted to deliver my Valentine’s Day Present early, because he had to put it into his truck since it wouldn’t fit into his car.
Now, Patrick is my ex-landlord, and still a great buddy of mine. I used to rent a shabby trailer from him and we were rather an item for about 2 years but he drove me nuts. He is the sweetest man in the world, but a total slob, and one of those clutter-collectors, and he is really stubborn about the way he thinks. Like, he refused to get the air conditioning fixed in his car because it would cost about a thousand dollars, but he was forever spending 5000 dollars on stuff like scrap metal that he could resell in 10 years or so if it didn’t rust to a pile of dust in the back 40, which is what always happened. I finally got so mad about the air conditioning thing that I went places in my own car and met him there. I also wouldn’t let him ride in MY car because I said I was not providing him with free air conditioning because it would take him even LONGER to get his fixed.
He even bought a newer car and it didn’t have air conditioning, and he installed this elaborate fan on the dashboard, it was totally asinine! ANYWAY, when Patrick say’s he’s bringing a present that will only fit in his truck, a fella gets a little worried. I kept thinking, what the HECK did he drag out of the back of some auction dumpster that he is bringing over here for me to deal with? It’s a guarantee it will be junk or rubbish. Like he brought me that bike that time with the 40 lbs of newspaper delivery boy baskets mounted all over it, I couldn’t even pedal it much less get it up the stairs to my apartment every time.
I love him dearly, he shows up here like clockwork every Friday morning for coffee and breakfast, when he chugs upriver in his scurvy houseboat. I kid you not, that boat was GORGEOUS when he first acquired it. It was factory-brand-new. It took him ten years to get it into the river, and by that time it was so loaded down with crap like a wood burning stove, a stationary bicycle, and several of those toxic propane heater things because he’s too cheap to hook up the electric heater in the thing, that it just looked like a junk trawler or one of those garbage barges on the Ohio.
So, imagine my surprise when, instead of a broken electric treadmill rewired to be a generator, or a used refrigerator casing retrofitted to be bookshelves, he showed up with a perfectly delightful, brand spanking new Security Screen Door!! I’ve wanted one forever, and I was so thrilled and excited.
Of course it weighs about 100 lbs and he doesn’t plan on installing it until mid-March. I have no idea what the hurry was in bringing it over here, but I’d better not look a gift door in the mouth!
I do have some issues with it. It means that the downstairs neighbor, the lurker, will have free access to all my conversations in the summer and the incessant second-hand smoke from his caregiver’s cigs will be wafting into my apartment through the windows AND door, now, but there may be a lovely summer night or two in which I can have the storm door open, the cross-breeze flowing, and feel like I am part of the Sacramento Summer Nights. Sounds like heaven to me…
I also felt better when I told my mailman all about how creepy my downstairs neighbor is getting to be, and he suggested I just drop a brick on his head. It was like having the 'insider' scoop on how to go Postal!!!