Friday, May 4, 2007

Took a night off, parade of the old ladies

Morning everyone! I'm actually well rested today, its amazing. I feel like Popeye after a can or two of spinach. I've been up til 2, or 3, or 4 every night this week and threw in the towel last night to hang with T. (hadn't seen him in 3 days, and we live in the same dam house) and The Wife. And to sleeeeep, oh beauteous sleeeeep.

Got up early enough to get our garbage to the curb. In my white terrycloth robe and some rubber garden shoes, I was a fashion plate. On my way out, there is Ruth from around the corner waving madly at me. She's in her fuchsia puffy jacket with some nice teal highlights, she has a plastic scarf thingy on to keep the rain off and she's talking away even though I can't hear her yet.

"What was that?"

"It's COLD. I hate the cold! It's May, it's not supposed to be COLD."

She gives a dismissive wave with her hand and marches on down the street. I was half hoping for one of her blue-tongued tirades -- Ruth, at approximately 4' 10" and 70-something years, cusses like a sailor. It's absolutely fantastic. She keeps a beautiful and precise garden just around the corner, on our way to the Max station. When The Wife and I were commuting by light rail we ran into her out in the garden quite a bit. She loved The Wife and corralled her daily, talking plants. I hadn't met her yet at this point, but one day passing her garden she waved me over. She squinted up at me with a face like a dried-apple doll.

"Your wife, is she going to be around soon?"

"Well, she should be by here around 5:30 -- what's up?"

"Oh I just wanted to show her some new plants I got. Where's she work?"

"She runs a law office downtown."

"LAWYERS! God I fucking HATE lawyers. Fucking scum of the earth, lawyers. Ok, well I'll wait til she's off work then. You have a wonderful wife, but the lawyers can go to hell if you ask me!"

It's hard to illustrate how hilarious and shocking the tirade was. I flashed back to the movie The Princess Bride, and the old couple played by Billy Crystal and Carol Kane.

So, back to taking the garbage out. I'm not yet to the curb with my garbage can when yet another old lady comes by and waves and smiles good morning. If you keep a good garden -- or in this case if your roommate keeps a good garden and folks think you do -- the old ladies instantly see you as a compatriot and friend. I didn't know this lady from Adam, I was half awake and not lookin so snazzy, but there she was waving madly and smiling like I was a visiting grandchild. It's awful sweet, and a nice way to wake up.


Trappin' Pat said...

We have a kind and crazy old lady across the street. She talks to her 4 or so cats (one named Whitey--funny name considering a few years ago all her neighbors were African Am [oh by the way from now on I’m a "European American"]) and 2 dogs (one a frightening mastiff, german shepard mix named Sergeant, and the cute pit bull named Pepper [who occasionally attempts to hump Whitey]). Anyhow she is regularly getting mad at their animal antics and yells, cusses and praises the beasts. She also has imaginary lurkers she berates and warns to leave her pets alone. Aurelia & I love her, we regularly visit and talk with her over her fence. When Pepper escapes I grab a stout stick and go herding/beating him back to the yard (he gets growly and bitey when loose). She may get mad at imaginary lurkers and her animals but she has always been nice to me and I appreciate her in the neighborhood.

Bpaul said...

I was just thinking about you sir. Was drying my hands with a handkerchief on the way out of a bathroom at PSU and figured I aught to do a post about the little things I do that are "green" or sensible. Handkerchiefs and straight razors are from you. I no longer use the latter, but still.