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I am full of tragic mistakes. I’ve lived the better part of my life making some of the worst decisions known to man. I’m pretty much recording the highlights here. But the great thing about being young and stupid is that I’m not done creating new stories. It’s fun recounting the dumb shit I did in high school and college and grad school and the states I’ve lived in since then, but sometimes it’s also fun to recount the unbelievable situations I’m getting myself into this minute.
I live in a sparsely populated neighborhood adjacent to the vineyard I work at. There are a few other houses near the vineyard, but I’m the only one that lives and works there. But the people I’ve met there are really great. I get along with them and likewise, they get along with me. We’ll hang out on the weekends and typically drink more than adults should, but what the hell, we live at a vineyard.
As I’ve met more people in the neighborhood, there are some that I’ve become good friends with and some that seem to like the fact that they live far from people and don’t want to get to know me. The few friends I have in the neighborhood, I hang out with on occasion, either having bonfires, going to concerts, or just getting together for drinks from time to time.
About a year ago, I met this girl, The Neighbor, who is a few years younger than me who lives about 5 houses and a half a mile from my house. She was next door and I ran in to her while she was outside. Introductions were made and that was it. I had been dating a girl for about 2 years at the time who we’ll call The Genius. And The Neighbor had a boyfriend of maybe 2 and a half years. She was smoking hot, but then so was my girlfriend, so there wasn’t much to think about. But I’d see her from time to time and we’d talk more and more, getting to know each other better. Somehow, every time I ran into her, my girlfriend and her boyfriend were both doing something else, so we always ended up talking one on one.
She’s got a great personality. But so does The Genius. But there’s something that I can’t explain that happens to immature guys in a situation like that. I was like a dog and The Neighbor was like a ball, but not just a normal ball but like a ball rolling around in the street. And in that analogy, let’s just go ahead and call our significant others traffic.
Then, The Genius went and pulled a ridiculous tantrum that led to the end of our relationship. At that point, things went from light and enjoyable with The Neighbor to Jose working it a little. There’s no denying there is a mutual interest, but she still had this boyfriend.
What the hell, let’s talk about him. He’s a recovered alcoholic. Or maybe recovering is the better term since I understand you never actually recover. This is funny seeing as I drink so much that I still have no idea what it would be like to be an alcoholic. I guess I’m blessed with being enough of a pussy that when I drink 90-100 beers in 6 days, my liver hurts so badly that I can’t imagine drinking on that 7th day. I imagine that’s the threshold to alcoholism. If I ever managed to drink 15 beers every single day of the week, then I’d slip off the delicate edge I’m hanging over and plunge into the abyss that is alcoholism.
So enough about me in a paragraph about some other dude. He’s actually a nice guy. I’ve met him a few times and he’s even invited me to hang out some. But he whole heartedly disapproves of The Neighbor’s friendship with me and doesn’t trust her for shit. If she is out past 11, he’ll come track her down and drag her home (I imagine not physically, just causes enough of a scene for her to leave). I’ve heard some stories from other neighbors about him showing up and being plain rude.
So, he’s got some issues, but I assume that some of the problems for him are driven by the fact that when he comes around, he’s sober and everyone else is drinking. I mean, when I’m the designated driver, I don’t really have the best time when all of my friends are shit-house wasted (or schwastey faced as my friend Aspiring Dead Beat Dad would say).
So, The Neighbor has just one rule, if her boyfriend, The Drunk, ever starts drinking again, then he’s out of the house. Oh, that’s a fun fact I left out – the two of them live together about a half of mile from my house, so they’re technically both neighbors, but she is the sole owner of the house.
Now, I recognize that I’m a terrible person. But as I get older, I’m trying to make things right or at least better. I like that show, no love that show “My Name is Earl.” I like to think that if I’m a good person, good things will happen to me. The problem is, as I’ve explained extensively, I’m a horrible person and I do horrible things. So, sometimes when I get the chance to do good things and it isn’t too awful, I jump at the opportunity. So, a guy I work with asked me to give him a ride to the airport one day and then pick his family up when they returned after their trip.
Karma, make good things happen to me. So, the day I’m supposed to go pick this guy up, I’m working outside of my house and The Neighbor shows up. It’s a hot summer day and she’s going to go swimming with the family that lives next door to me. They ask if I want to go and of course I did. So, I head to the river with a group of about 12 people and there’s The Neighbor, looking great in her bikini. We hang out for a while, they can’t convince me to ditch the dude I’m picking up, and so I take off.
And it’s a long drive with a ton of traffic. I end up being like an hour late to get my co-worker and then I’m a solid hour late getting home. And for the past few days, I’ve been using my co-worker’s car while mine was in the shop. And mine was still in the shop, but when he dropped me off and went back to his house, I was completely without a car. You see, I had given it to The Neighbor’s friend who runs a car shop to fix it. And later that day, she was going to come by and loan me her car for the day just in case I needed a car while she’d get a ride to work with her friend.
So, I called her when I got home and let her know that I was back and she could drop her car off whenever it was convenient. And this is when things go totally fucked up. She came by with The Drunk. I was in the back yard doing some work on the house when they showed up so I couldn’t tell exactly what was happening in my front yard. I finished nailing some boards I was working on and headed towards the front of my house where I heard audible yelling. The Drunk was on his way towards my back yard while The Neighbor was walking away from my house down the road. No big deal. But then he starts telling me how I should just call their house rather than texting or calling The Neighbor’s cell phone because she’s his girlfriend.
I said, “Sure. I see where you’re coming from and I’d be pissed too. I’m not sure how I’d feel about my girlfriend having a friend like me, but I assure you nothing’s going on.” And at that point, I really had no intention of texting The Neighbor out of respect for this guy.
He’s a bigger guy than I am. I mean, he’s about the same height and probably weighs like 5-10 pounds less than me, but he has a blue collar job lifting all kinds of heavy shit, while I prune grape vines and drive golf carts. So, he’s a lot stronger than me in all likelihood. He was clearly fired up, but I saw no reason to instigate anything and instead invited him back to help with the deck seeing as he was coming around back anyway. This appeared to confuse him, to which he replied, “No, man. I’m way to drunk to help you.”
Well, that’s what was wrong. So, he had come home some time while I was driving to the airport and back, drunk as hell, and couldn’t find The Neighbor. Apparently, upon getting home he looked but couldn’t find her even though she was actually there. He then took his four wheeler to my house and tore around looking for her and then went home. I’ll interject here that I firmly believe Karma saved my ass in this instance, as had I been home, he wasn’t thinking clearly enough to do anything but spaz out and attack me. But, upon getting back to his house, he then told The Neighbor some long lie about what he had been doing. Mind you, he reeked of alcohol but thought he was convincing her he hadn’t drank. Thus, when they showed up to drop off the car, they were in a good fight.
So, after admitting he was too drunk to help out, they left and I went back to work on the deck. Sometime within the next 10 minutes, he had been locked out of The Neighbor’s house. So The Drunk came back to my house. As he walked up, my phone started ringing. Unbelievably, it was The Neighbor. Nothing bad, she was apologizing for the scene that had unfolded a few minutes ago, but clearly in direct opposition to her drunken boyfriend. But I didn’t check my text because I figured he’d go crazy. And when he got up to me, he was sort of apologetic, sort of still accusing me of wrong doings. And what do you do with a guy that drunk? I mean, he was wasted and really unstable.
I stood there holding my hammer literally expecting to have to kill him. But he never came any closer and instead just carried on a very one sided conversation, as he talked at me and wouldn’t let me get a word in edge-wise. We talked for like a half hour, but the entire rant of his mostly consisted of him badmouthing The Neighbor, telling me about her past, how they had gotten together, and then that her mom had died young because her mom worried too much (she really had cancer). The whole scene was insane. And to make it all worse, I was receiving a ton of texts from The Neighbor during this “conversation.”
And after completely trashing The Neighbor, which I assume was an attempt to show me that she was undesirable, he started to realize how much trouble he was going to be in for getting so drunk. He said I probably wouldn’t be seeing much of him anymore because he thought they might be breaking up as a result of this fight and his drinking.
But he ultimately left and never came back. And when The Neighbor brought my car back, she told me that she had locked The Drunk out and he had called the next day to come get some of his stuff. She had no idea he had come back to my house or talked to me for so long.