Sunday, October 28, 2007



Actual conversation, a couple weeks ago, when I was in the midsts of the "week from hell."

The time: 11:45 (give or take a few minutes).
The scene: My home. Specifically, my bedroom, as I'm getting ready for bed. I've got to get up in 6 hours to go to work.

What happens:

I think I hear a knock at my door. I'm in what you might call "a mild state of undress," as I'm getting ready to bed down for the evening. I freeze, and listen again for a knock. I live in an older house, so sometimes, there are noises that sound like other noises (i.e. there is a place that my upstairs neighbor steps that sounds exactly like an obnoxious egg fart coming from the direction of the bathroom--which is disconcerting if you're by yourself, and nobody else should be farting in your home, and you've catalogued exactly what yours sound like, and categorized them by what you've eaten)

Anyway, I think I hear a knock at the door. I listen for a second time, which does come. I get back into a decent state of dress, and answer the door. It is another neighbor, whose prediliction for turning his baseball caps sideways and throwing empty Natural Ice cans all over his yard leaves him with something of a negative view to my eye.

The conversation:

Neighbor: Hey, dude!
Tommy: Hey.
Neighbor: You got any popcorn?
Tommy: What?

(Let me take a second to pause to describe the sudden discomfort at my incredulity at his asking me, at nearly midnight on a weeknight, for popcorn. In short, whatever pause most people might have over bugging a relative stranger for salty snacks in the middle of the night finally did come. Just a little slowly. He began to fidget with his hands, and his body language instantly turned to one step towards flight).

Neighbor: You got any popcorn?
Tommy: No. (I still can't believe that he's knocked on my door for popcorn).
Neighbor (dejected): Oh. Me and my old lady was getting ready to watch a movie. And we don't have any popcorn.
Tommy: Well, I don't have any.
Neighbor: Oh. Really wanted some popcorn. You know how you get to craving something?
Tommy: Yeah. No popcorn.
Neighbor: Dang.

(Another pause, this time to describe the complete dejection. I've never seen a grown man take a roller coaster ride that intense over something so little as popcorn. That puppy-dog dejection, so intense, leads me to say):

Tommy: Sorry about that....
Neighbor: Alright....

Spent the rest of the evening wondering why the heck I apologized to the side-ways ballcap, Natural Ice butthead.

Also spent a little time thinking that he was knocking on a darkened apartment was to see if anybody was home. I've never given this guy much credit for brains...but then, there aren't many rocket scientists breaking into people's homes.

Anyway. At the end of the day, I've decided the guy's stupid and harmless.

But it kinda makes you pay attention.


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