Monday, November 12, 2012

ROW 80 POST 26 – THE CURSE OF CHUPACABRA


Last night after JC and I had gotten through flinging furniture around our tiny living room and bedroom; well, okay, we didn’t really “fling;” more like heaved and tugged and pulled muscles we forgot existed, we were sitting on “our” patch of the front porch. The neighbors do tend to be a bit on the excitable side. It may have something to do with having to live next to us, specifically me.

I tend to strew excitement and confusion wherever I go. I try to cool it on the discord, although I can sow some of that should the occasion warrant it.  For instance, last spring, our Neighboress blabbed in Espańol or Rumanian or Martian, to our landlord that we had a cat and that her fleas had gotten into her house, which was a patent lie. So, our landlord came over and asked, very politely, that we not feed strays in his broken English/Espańol/Hebrew/Neptunian on the porch, because said fleas were getting in Neighboress’ house.

I started crying, and went inside to sulk. JC, ever the peace keeper agreed and that was that. For a week or so, we fed Mama out in the back yard, where now EVERYONE could see her. A while later, I caught neighboress by herself and feeling pretty low-impulse-y and feral I hissed at her and put “The Curse of Chupacabra” on her; an ancient curse full of yowl and Klingon-like guttural language which I had just made up right then, complete with hand gestures.


I Curse You... With My Friendship

We’ve had no more problems about the cat since. Oh, the occasional misunderstandings of the sort where Mr. Neighboress revs his engine for an hour and burns the already burnt rings. Poor thing is not a mechanic. He does lots of work for the landlord, and I suspect it is because he is patching together a living to keep a roof over their heads. They’ve lived next door for 12 years. Now they’re living next to us. Ay-yi-yi.

We’d noticed, that recently, his driving had been getting more erratic and he wasn’t working as much. Because of the language barrier and because I know they’re trying to maintain some semblance of dignity (his brother shows off his cars, SUVs; one of those) although we notice, we pretend not to. Our Mama cat had fun tearing up their rug (!) and I decided it was high time the whole porch got a new look. It cost me all of 12 bucks and everyone got new rugs. Even the cat has a rug. Everyone's ready. 

That’s made it easier for Neighboress-Chupacabra to accept Mama who lounges around on the porch now, like she’s the Queen of Sheba. Anyway, I digress. So, Mr. Neighboress comes peeling into the driveway last night about 90 miles per, executing a 90° left turn and never slowing down, all the way to the back and screech! Stand on those non-existent brakes! He’s already taken out part of the gate, which he repaired for Mr. Landlord. He scraped one side of his ailing little car, which should just be given last rites already, it sounds that bad. They struggle, but they do not back up, or ask for handouts. These are proud people.

Slam! Slam, go the car doors! They both come tearing out of the car, and up on the porch, where we are relaxing and watching Mama sit on her ever-spreading ass. She is so sweet and calm since we had her spayed. She watches the neighbors. Odd; she doesn’t run off as she normally does when they drive into the yard.

Mrs. Neighboress makes motions to my eyes and her husband’s eyes. “¿Uno poquito Espanol, si?” “Da, ja, si” Shit. “¡Si, muy poquito!” She proceeds to tell me, as near as I can understand, that her husband who after his cameo appearance, darts in the house, has developed “cataractas,” like my eyes. She’s telling me something else that I’m not getting, as well, because apparently, he has to spend 5 days in the hospital and they will both be gone. 

But I cannot tell what the other condition is. She asks very politely, would we please watch the house. JC and I have discussed this before; of course we will, as we know they would for us. We exchange phone numbers. Later, JC explains to me that Mr. Neighboress made the ASL (American Sign Language) motion for "surgery," across his eyes. 

We both start laughing, uncontrollably. She’s shaking from fright; she cannot drive. Her husband insisted on driving home, after dark. I remember doing that just before I had my cataracts diagnosed. God looks after fools, for real. Then, she hands me the paper and pen and I’m trying to write down our phone number. It’s just as shaky. We just looked at each other and laughed. Mama was sitting between our feet looking up. Some curse, eh?



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