Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"I Need a Vacation"

That's my new code phrase with Dawn. She showed up on my doorstep Sunday night and asked if she could stay over. "Sure," I said. Then I thought twice and asked, "What's up?"

"I did something bad," she told me.

"Go work it out with your parents and come back," I said. She didn't come back. Not for a whole day. Ouch. I will spare us all the drama associated with that.

Tonight we sat for a good long while on my back porch talking. She explained some of what happened over the weekend. More teen pushing-the-envelope stuff. Nothing really all that earth-shaking in the grand scheme, but as we talked about last night, we live in a neighborhood (and a time, and a world) where small mistakes can have much bigger consequences than anyone could imagine.

I suggested we need a way to make sure I get it when she needs me as much as she did Sunday night.

"So I should just tell you, right?" Dawn said.

"Yeah, but that's hard to do when you're stressed out, right?" She nodded.

"So, how about a code phrase? Like, if you come over and say, 'I need a vacation,' then I'll know I should just drop everything and let you in." She laughed. It seems like she liked it. Hope it works if there's a next time. Better yet, I'm really hoping there's not a next time, at least not quite like this last one.

We also talked about the other problem that made me hesitant to open the door last night. I asked my tenant to leave today. I think I posted earlier that he seemed like less trouble than Hurricane Alberto. Well, he was, except he drinks. A few hours before Dawn showed up on my doorstep, my now ex-tenant had been sitting there too drunk to move. He came in the house eventually and wanted to chat. Pretty quickly I had a sense of deja vu so strong I just snapped out with, "I grew up in a house with a drunk. I swore I'd never live that way again. You have to move out!"

"Oh, wow," he said, and left me alone.

Although I was pretty sure he was sleeping it off by the time Dawn showed up, it was the only night I've been here that I wasn't sure it was safe for her to be in the house. He left today. I had actually given him a month's notice through a note this morning, but he just went ahead and took off.

I need a vacation. Seriously, no code about it. And I'm leaving for one pretty soon. I was hoping to have someone in the house while I was gone. There's been a rash of break-ins around the neighborhood recently. My other next-door neighbors were broken into this afternoon. Well, one good thing about knowing neighbors is there are a number of eyes on the house when I'm not here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes i want to comment on the break-ins around the neighborhood, i had parked my vehicle behind my home at 49th and Hermitage at about 4:30 pm about 3 weeks ago. When my younger brother alerted me that my driver side window had been busted although they didnt take anything from my car i ran towards the corner of 50th and Paulina because i saw 2 African American males running and they couldnt have been older than 14 years old. When they saw me coming they ran through someones gang-way and i was unable to apprehand these hoodlums. I had been living in this house since 1991 and have never had anything like this happened.

I guess there is always the first time for everything. I am assuming that these are the hoodlums that break-in to the cars that i see on a daily basis with their windows broken on the side of the streets in this neighborhood. I am more than positive that i have seen this year alone more than 20 cars with shattered windows. At times i would like to walk around the neighborhood go door to door and get a real analyses of how many cars have been broken into and give the report to the police so they can do something about it. Maybe create a ploy by parking a nice car with rims and a nice stereo so that these fools can take the bait and charge all the shattered windows on those individuals.

We need this garbage out of the area!

Windy Citizen Share