Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Man Next Door. Chapter 4

Mother:  As I returned home just now I was followed by some young men. They went by as I looked for my key at the front door, and a young man who was trying to catch up to them paused to say, while indicating the house next door, "I hope Lertch doesn't make too much noise for you."...."I hope so too," I replied.

Daughter:  The young men had probably just left the pub. I hate the way everything the man next door hears from our house gets talked about at the pub.

Next Morning.
Daughter:  Last night I was kept awake by a loud conversation between the man next door and his girlfriend. I was so exasperated that I opened my window and called out "You are so boring!" He didn't like that at all. He said to his girlfriend "...."She said I am boring!" ...."She thinks I am boring!" He couldn't cope with being called boring. Maybe I shouldn't have said that. I think I will write him a note to apologise.

Daughter:  Do you want to know what I wrote in my apology to the man next door?

Mother:  What did you say?

Daughter:  I said "I'm sorry I said you were boring." ..."That was a really stupid and unfair thing to say."...."You are probably a really interesting guy, but unfortunately any noise that keeps me awake at 3.00 am in the morning is really boring"... "No hard feelings." I signed off with "Your  premenstrual neighbour."

Where will I put the note? If I put it under his front door it may not be noticed.

Mother:  You could attatch it to his side of the falling down dividing fence, opposite his kitchen door. But you need to make it catch his attention.

Daughter:  I'll fold the paper, and turn it into a card. Now I've drawn a happy, smiling face on the front. Do you like the moustache and glasses I've added?

Mother:  Maybe you could add a big "Hello". That should get his attention.

About midday the man next door's reply was pushed through the letter slot in their front door, moments after they saw him walking by, looking shabby and hungover. His note was written in pencil, on a grubby piece of paper. The note said "I'm sorry I keep you awake with my noise. I know I have been a very difficult neighbour, and thank you for drawing attention to the fact that I am boring. Maybe you should come over for a bbq one day to see what a great guy I really am. And as for boring, you are fucking boring! All you do is walk up and down the street looking really sexy. How fucking boring is that!"

It was Friday evening. There was something about the summer evening, after a long, hot day, that made Mother suddenly get up from the table without drinking the cup of tea she had just made. Without cleaning her teeth, or checking to make sure that none of the delicious meal she had just eaten was sticking to her face, she felt compelled to straight away go out for a walk, although it would soon be dark. She crossed the road at the corner, turned left, and at the next corner she heard a man's voice. She looked up to see if he was talking to her.

Man In Street:  I love your hair....I saw you coming ...Is there an RSL Club around here? I'm new to this area, and I'm just looking around.

Mother looked at the man and noticed that he looked quite nice. He was probably in his early 40's, and she noticed that he had very broad shoulders, a good body, and that he was reasonably tall. His face was quite nice too, but he looked painfully nervous. Was that a slight twitch in his cheek?

Mother:  I can't think where there is an RSL Club around here. There is a pub on that corner, and another, better one a couple of blocks away up there.

Man In Street:  Would you like to have a couple of drinks with me? I don't have to work in the morning.

Mother was aware that if she went with this man into the nearby pub, the man next door was likely to be there, observing them. She also did not like pubs. Without giving it any more thought she replied ...

Mother:  I hate pubs! ... I've spent too much time in pubs with an alcoholic partner.

She went to move on.

Man In Street:  Do you have to go?

Mother:  I'm going for a walk, and then I have things to do at home.

Man In Street:  I may as well get your phone number.

Mother:  Oh! OK.

And that is how Mother met Peter, who rang early next morning to make sure she had got home safely from her walk. Then a few days later he rang again, and at the end of the week they began to meet regularly.

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