I met the most interesting women-always at the most irritating inopportune time-while I was down on one of my many Grinch-ing trips. My attire on these weekends was always hair in a haphazard ponytail, a tank top and grubby sweat pants that at any given time would work their way halfway down my hips and would have to pulled up at breaks. I'm pretty sure there was no butt crack action going on but it was close, SO to say I wasn't dressed for company is an understatement. Plus I was always sweaty and dirty a couple hours into it and this always seemed to the time the folks like to stop by. On the day my sister, Mary Beth ( Ms. 'I should have brought sage to burn counter to the negative energy in here'), went down with me we were visited by no less than seven women. After the fourth one , she said," my god, is it always like this!"
I said, "Just wait, chica, just wait til we get really stinky then we'll get a crowd! Like pilgrims to Mecca-no lie!"
Here is how it would go, I would be bent over some box or lifting something I had no business lifting or cleaning something yucky and I would look up and out the window there would be a lurker! Because they always lurked before they approached. They either drove slowly by and then drove slowly by again and then pulled in or they walked slowly by and walked by slowly again and then approached or they biked slowly by and biked slowly by again and then rode up. Every time as i watched the second pass lurk I would think to myself "PHUCK IT. Now I have talk to someone-AGAIN!"
The first time we saw lurkers on the Saturday Mary Beth went down with me, she said, "ARE THEY GOING TO COME TO THE DOOR??? "
"OH YEAH! They will get here eventually-here's the deal. If they will say I just heard about Becky, it's such a shock, what happened,etc. Then you just be solemn, tell them what happened and make comforting cooing noises while they tear up and talk about how they always stopped to talk to her,how much they liked her. Then you end up being the one to say, 'so sorry for your loss'. It's a little odd. Now if they say something like, is Becky moving, you have to be really solemn and explain she died, what happened and then make comforting cooing noises while they cry or WAIL-it has happened - usually they come in twos so they hug each other-so no hugging from us required. then they will say how they stopped by here everyday to talk to her and how much they liked her and you stand around awkwardly and then say you are sorry for their loss. Also be prepared for the 'do you mind if I have a memento?' comment. Let me handle those."
"ARE you serious! Hey your belly is showing."
"Yeah, I know I got to pull up my pants!"
On that particular day we had two sets of same sex partner neighbors-one set knew and wanted details and her wind chimes and another that had been away all summer and didn't know -they cried and hugged each other. Very nice ladies! One car lurker who was 75 if she was a day-got out of a HONDA with long grey hair down to her ass, which happened to be encased in the phucking tightest pair of jeans I have ever seen on anyone. She had on a halter top and was wearing two different kinds of painted shoes. She didn't know Becky was dead -although she talked about how close they were. She wailed-Mary and I just made the cooing noises. I give Mary credit-she caught on after the first couple of ladies and handled things like a champ. She is also slightly nicer than I am so she did the comforting better. As she left she pressed her card in my hand and said if I needed anything to call and could she have the jade dragon to remember Becky by...huh no. I kept the card face down and asked Mary-give a guess. She said artist and I said gypsy. when I turned the card over it said "Artist and Spiritual Adviser". We high-fived and got back to work.
Then there was the bearded lady, who was obviously just the complex busybody and a snob, asked what happened ,said she couldn't remember Becky's last name although she talked to her ALL THE TIME but she has trouble remembering the renter names as opposed to the owners because she has CRS and it causes short-term memory loss. She really got Mary's back up. After she left, Mary said, "CRS CRS! that is not a real condition-she made that up! I am googling that when I get home AND for god's sake in the day and age I have three words for her, LASER HAIR REMOVAL! CRS, my ass!"
The last lurker of the day was a familiar one, she lurked every time I went down. She would walk up and down the little parking lot until; at some point and time I would look up and there she would be nose pressed to the glass door-I would scream and she would wave. She never had a reason for being there after the first 'oh what happened' conversation. But there she would be and I would just offer her something..anything.
Mary said, "you mean she just comes to the door..."
"To say hello to me, she knows my name."
"And you just offer to give her something? And she takes it ?"
"What are you going to offer today?"
" The red wagon in front."
"Really. it keeps her from annoying me at the dumpster, she lives right in front of it."
And when she made the final approach that is exactly what I did. As Mary watched her strolling happily up the sidewalk with the red wagon,she turned to me and said, "If all these people loved Becky and stopped to talk to her EVERYDAY, how is it that she laid here dead for a week and no one knew?"
"That would be the mystery, grasshopper! Lying bitches I say but I am hot, nasty and tired. Let's go home."
"I should have brought some sage to burn to get rid of the negative energy."
"Mary, that's Becky's apartment. There is no negative energy!"
"I would have burned it outside the apartment!"