Sometimes as I sit cloaked in darkness watching Naked Shower Guy wash, rinse and repeat during his soapy morning ritual it dawns on me that his frothy shenanigans wouldn’t have been possible in the not too distant past.
You see, a few years ago building a retaining wall covered in poisonous spikes and keeping a bat with rusty nails embedded in it wouldn’t have been seen as an overreaction to the occasional crime sprees and drug related shootings we were prone to back then.
Not quite Escape From New York nor Main Street U.S.A but somewhere blurry and weird in between.
Anyway, Naked Shower Guy takes his long luxurious lather up on the third floor of a completely renovated four story row house across the alley from mine. His has all the bells and whistles and an addition that while not historically accurate makes great use of space.
Perhaps that’s why he couldn’t afford curtains or a distracting window decal?
He would probably be interested to know about the day that they found the dead body in the garage next to his or the fun that my 18 month old and I had trying to guess the status of the guy who had driven his car into the alley and half fallen out of it.
Was he breathing?
Taking a nap?
One of my favorite memories was the look on her small smiling clueless face as she inquired in broken English “Mommy, he dead?”
“No honey” I responded “he’s just taking a break.”
If you left your filthy reeking sneakers outside it would only be a matter of time before some shoeless fella was slipping them on and sprinting into the night regardless of comfort or fit. And even the kids clothes hung up and draped on a railing became tight-fitting half shirts for the local crack whore.
I expect now that my neighborhood has become a much changed place over the last few years with houses selling for nearly a million dollars and new people who expect you to line up your recycling bins in perfectly straight rows that there are many who would find it very difficult to accept the occasional roving vagrant or hovering police helicopter looking for criminals with its spotlight. These folks would probably want to accuse me of fabricating this whole case scenario so that property values might plummet and good decent people will run screaming from this war zone.
Instead I am thrilled to see the wild bubble covered abandon with which NSG can go at it and not have to look out his partially steamed window only to see the faces of the old guard scooping up his walkway lights and ceramic garden gnomes for resale up on the corner.
And so the standoff continues. Who will be the first to cave and buy window treatments?