Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Ruin of The Day

Yesterday might have been the perfect day.

In between laundry, dog walking and sundry household chores, I enjoyed meeting hubby for lunch at Sugarpearl and being serenaded by Mark Zane who plays there every Wednesday from 11:00 – 2:00. (Joanne Perry plays on Thursdays, Brian Francis every Friday.) I encourage you to grab lunch and listen to them play for you. The food is great and you’ll wish you had a two-hour lunch break once you start listening to the music.

After dinner I enjoyed an evening with the ladies of song at Sparkytown: Melissa’s original “Here In Me” (it was BETTER than a Mary Chapin Carpenter tune); Jo’s delightful rendition of Loudon Wainwright’s “Hotel Blues”; Joanne’s original “From Here Ever After” (a song I can personally never hear enough of, it’s sooo good); Donna’s “Beautiful Mistake” I heard for the first time but will always remember and long to hear again and again; Judy’s cover of one of my favorite Richard Thompson’s songs, “Wall of Death”; and Wendy – who always pulls a surprise out of her bag – marvelously working her way through “Downtown” and getting Sparky to dance. It was the perfect way to end a day. I felt so peaceful and relaxed, ready to settle in with my book, Rupert and Chris, get a good night’s sleep.

“You might want to call Mary Ellen,” hubby said to me when I walked in the door.

I didn’t think this was so odd. My friend and fellow writer used to live a few houses down our street but recently bought the house that sits almost directly behind ours. I went into the kitchen to see if lights were still on in her kitchen, to see if she’d still be up, not really hearing what Chris said next, the words not really registering with me. Perhaps I didn’t want them to register.

“There was a drive by shooting. Someone tried to get Stephen. No one was hurt though.”

Stephen is the neighborhood bully. He lives in the house next to Mary Ellen. When she was first looking at the house, being neighborly she waved to him in his upstairs window; he exposed himself to her. I have kicked him out of our yard on several occasions and called the police twice, once resulting in his arrest. Less than a month ago the police staged a stake out in our driveway waiting for Stephen to return so they could arrest him on some outstanding warrants. The neighborhood breathes more easily when he is in jail; he never seems to stay in jail very long, though. We know he’s around when we hear firecrackers at midnight. In fact, Mary Ellen thought the four shots fired at Stephen sitting on his front porch last night were more firecrackers he was setting off. One of those bullets is lodged in the house, very close to Mary Ellen’s house, very close to the alley she and I walk down several times a week as we go back and forth to each other’s house for writing group or whatever.

I couldn’t sleep last night. And I really needed to, as I’ve been exhausting myself lately. When I’m exhausted, my words take longer to surface and other health concerns take center stage.

If my daughter was speaking to me, she’d begin one of her famous rants about how unsafe my neighborhood is and I’d have nothing to say in return this morning. Even my mother-in-law’s house that sits in what I’ve always considered a glorified “trailer park” housing development with no sidewalks looks good to me today. Rupert is still burrowed beneath the covers of the bed and hasn’t been out for his morning walk. Is he trying to tell me something?

No comments: