Friday, September 02, 2005

Hi Lisa!!

...those dreaded words, "Hi, Lisa," called out to me tonight, from across the parking lot adjacent to my house.

Shit. It's C.J., as my son and I have dubbed him. Crazy John. The neighbor that claims to live in Hawaii...only he's our neighbor, and WE live in Illinois. My friend Charles has dubbed him "Hawaiian Joe." Both will suffice.

"Oh...hey.." I respond to being called "Lisa," which probably makes me just as crazy as he is, but I figure it's better if he doesn't know that Lisa is not my name.

Aw c'mon, you've all had this neighbor. The nutjob that will NOT stop talking, and has no perception that no one knows what the hell he's talking about. I am in underground cahoots with Betty-next-door to "let's get 'em."

My son and his friends like to purposefully engage CJ in conversation, so fascinated are they with his ramblings. I suppose it is good party conversation fodder. It is not uncommon, for instance, for Brian to walk in and inform me, "Mom, CJ hates gypsies."

I have to give him credit for welcoming me into my new neighborhood, by bringing me a Box O' Wine. I scoffed, and proceeded to drink myself silly while unpacking my boxes, and hence determining that I should never EVER have access to unlimited glasses of wine. Box O Wine, Get Thee Behind Me!!!

He rang the doorbell last October, and handed me a broken pumpkin. He had dropped his, and, he said, "you're an artist, so I thought you could use this."

Still having not developed a spine, I thanked him for the broken pumpkin. Why didn't I ask him to pass along any cracked eggs he encounters while he's at it?

You're getting the picture, yes?

So. Here he comes, barreling across the parking lot. Just so you get a clearer picture..He's in his mid-30s. For the visual, I have to tell you, he's about...let's go with 50, pounds overweight. It is not a judgmental statement; I love fat people, as I am one. Ya just have to get the picture.

CJ is wearing a pair of...maybe they were swimming trunks. Shorts of some sort. And that's it. He is covered, today, in red-brown paint, so that I am alarmed when he approaches me, thinking at first that he has met with a terrible accident. It is all over his stomach, it looks like he just dipped his roller and his entire arm into a 50-gallon drum of paint, even his bare feet are painted.

His shorts are falling down to the point that I have to avert my eyes from pubic hair. I'm just going to say it: He has a booger hanging from his left nostril, and the guy must have saliva the consistency of molasses: I have never talked to him in which I didn't have to cringe through a strand (or two) of spit that stays connected to both his top and bottom lips as he talked; it NEVER breaks!!!

"heydidyouknowthatcopthatgotkilled? Whatadragitwashisstepsonthatkilledhim. IusedtoliveinNewOrleans. Peoplearedead. Didyouhearaboutthewomanthatgotraped? Whatwerethefiretrucksforlastnight?..."

At one point, he stepped toward me, into my space, to make a point...

And I literally backed UP 2 steps...

All the while SURE I heard Betty-next-door cackling while she peeped out her venetian blinds. I am going to get her, big TIME.


  1. Anonymous7:46 PM

    I've been enjoying your postings...up until've devoted quite a few paragraphs seemingly for the sake of entertainment at the expense of someone who's a little different...

  2. I'm never allowed to be annoyed with a stray strange character?

    Sorry, I'm not Jesus Christ.

  3. She's polite to this man. She has presented the facts about him. I don't believe she's expressed one opinion here. We derive our own opinions about him. It's entertaining. She's encountered him (unfortunately in her own neighborhood) and is passing on her experience.

  4. I'm going to say...he's a lot different. Not just a little. Isn't it strange that he never explains the paint.

  5. Dear Anonymous:

    First, I popped off in that first response, and as tempted as I am to remove any evidence of ugliness in my personality, I'm going to own up to it and leave it there.

    Second, You got me! I don't know who you are, but you either know me, or you've read me very well: I felt immediately terrible, upon reading your response, over the nature of this post. It *is* more mean-spirited than most of my postings, and encounters.

    However I was honest and I was venting, I would have regaled you with this story in person, if you were one of my friends, "oh, that crazy guy caught me again today..."

    And I've decided, also, to stay committed to my own opinions here. There's a lot I did NOT say about CJ; he's annoying, a little disgusting, and a little bit scary, and I keep my screen doors locked when I'm home alone because of him. The neighbors refer to him as "a pain in the drain."

    It would have, yes, been more gracious not to bring it up at all, I guess.

    I stumbled.

    I hope you keep reading.


    Not Lisa


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