The Weird Neighbor

Julie made me promise that I wouldn’t let myself become the “weird neighbor” at our new house in Caldwell.

You see, shortly after Julie and I started dating, I was living in Bethesda. I told her that I always felt like the weird neighbor. I just didn’t seem to fit in. All the other houses on the street were filled with families, and my house was filled with me and my two dogs. They all seemed to have normal working hours, and for me 6:00 AM could be quitting time and starting time on two consecutive days. And that’s not even mentioning the time that I was stalking around my house at night, shirtless, with a 12 inch dagger.

I was sitting at my desk and kept seeing lights outside my window. The closest house on that side was a pretty big lot away, just before a dead end and a small forest. The strange part was that it only seemed to happen when I was looking the other way. After ten minutes or so of this, and figuring that it was just a brat kid from somewhere in the neighborhood, I decided to poke my head outside and tell them to knock it off.

I was shirtless because it was a hot evening, and the house didn’t have air conditioning. The dagger, which I use as a letter opener, was of course for protection, just in case it wasn’t a local punk. The threating lights were, of course, lightning bugs.

Yep, I was the weird neighbor. I’d like to say that this was the only thing I did to alienate myself from my neighbors. I can’t, but I’d like to. So, when we bought the house in Caldwell, I gave my word that I would try to act normal, and I was doing pretty good, until a couple weeks ago.

Mom and I had been planting a few flowers in front of the house, and had turned up a bit of dirt and a lot of earthworms. I naturally placed the worms gently back into the flower beds and instructed them to get back to work fertilizing and aerating. I mean, I’m happy that they are there and everything, and they are more than welcome to stay as long as they like, provided they pull their weight.

I took a quick trip to the hardware store to get some mulch, and when I got back to the house there were four or five robins hopping all around the flower beds, treating my worms like a $5.99 All-You-Can-Eat Las Vegas buffet. Naturally, I jumped out of the truck and started trying to get rid of them, waving my arms and shouting, “Get off my worms! Get off my worms!”

I think I’m just going to start introducing myself as “Brock, the Weird Neighbor,” just to make sure there isn’t any confusion.