Thursday, September 17, 2009
These are the people in my Neighborhood
So really, it's not like I'm a person with vast untapped reservoirs of anxiety or anything. I'm not like those people who have panic attacks that last for days, preventing them from taking a deep breath, forcing them to lie in bed and read Oprah magazine while they wait for their heavy sedatives to work.I fall into a category of people my Granny pearl called "Nervous."
We've been looking for a house to buy for a few months. It's tedious, as anyone who has gone through the process will tell you. I've been disappointed at the lack of crime scenes in the empty houses, Ruby has been frustrated that more of the houses aren't pink.
We finally found a beautiful little four bedroom/two bath brick house in the neighborhood all of our friends live in for 30,000 dollars cheaper that we thought we were going to shell out. I loved this house.
Tell the realtor to draw up the papers, I said. I have a good feeling about this place, I said.
On the way home, we are happy. We have finally found it.
"Can you see yourself living there?" Jeff asks.
"Absolutely!" I answer."I can stain the concrete floor in Ruby's room purple. I know exactly where I'll plant the succulent garden."
While we are eating our celebratory pizza, I remember a website I used to log onto occasionally, just for kicks, called the Texas Sexual Predators Database. What the hell, I think, better make sure we don't have any rapists living next door.
I log on, type in our new address 1608 Sufolk, and the screen fills up with names.
The first,of course, is listed at 1606. Our next door neighbor.
"Jeff!" I screech."We have a problem!"
He sits down at the computer screen and we scroll down. More and more names, many of them with the middle name of Wayne-that's not a joke, appear on the screen. All of them living at 1613 and 1614.
"What is this -Pedophile Melrose Place?" Jeff is shaking his head.
"Look at this guy! Aggravated assault of a nine year old!" The picture on the screen is straight out of my worst nightmare-piggy eyes, hostile stare, nasty leery jowly face. Hi neighbor! Can I borrow a cup of sugar? Hey-do you ever babysit on the side? Sure, give me a call.
There are seven of them, all nesting in two houses right next door to each other, like a compound, four houses down from the one we'd just decided to buy. Plus, don't forget about the one right next door. Their offenses range from garden variety rape of an adult woman to child molestation and assault. One guy just had some child porn. He seems a little out of his league at this party.
"What, are they starting some kind of rapey fraternity?" Jeff is sad, he liked that house.
"See? See? This is why it's good that I'm paranoid! What if I wasn't the kind of woman who looked up sex offenders all the time? We'd be going to their GARAGE SALE!We'd be going to block parties with them!"
"Apparently, they ARE the block. They outnumber us."
"If we lived on that street I'd probably end up going to jail for Molotov-cocktailing those motherfuckers. It's just too tempting, all of them burrowing in the same house like that."
"Don't go to jail. We'll find another house."