Sunday, September 22, 2013

meanwhile, back in the jungle

My wife and I were kind of in a hurry. We had to pick up a prescription for my mother-in-law and then rush back to their house for dinner. And we were already running late. My wife gathered a few requested dinner accoutrements, threw them into a bag and we hurried out the door.

We climbed into my wife's car and she slowly began to back out of our driveway, when suddenly a young man pushing a stroller with a baby and another small girl in tow emerged from the knot of overgrown vegetation that enshrouds and obscures my neighbor's driveway and sidewalk. Mrs. P hit the brakes. I leaned out the passenger side window, smiled and waved the Dad on, assuring him that we were allowing safe passage. He offered a silent wave of thanks, a return smile and they were on their way. The small family were never in danger, but had the sightlines been clear of the Amazonian rain forest that occupies my neighbor's adjacent property, there would have been no issue.

My neighbor is an inconsiderate, self-absorbed jerk. I don't want to say that she has no regard or respect for other people, because, as far as she's concerned, there are no other people. She perceives that she is alone in the world to do what she wants, when she wants, where she wants — with no consequence.

Several years ago, she split with her husband and he moved out. While they were still married, he — an old-school, tree-huggin' hippie landscaper — planted an array of exotic plants in their front yard. They were an odd assortment of growths, most looking like they'd be more at home in a Dr. Seuss book. However, he trimmed them and maintained them and when winter arrived, he uprooted them (or ate them or smoked them... whatever) because they were gone until they reappeared in the spring. Then, the whole ritual started again. The divorce must have finalized during growing season, because he left the greenery (and blue-ery and red-ery and yellow-ery) in mid-blossom. By the time autumn rolled around, those weeds were out of control, creeping along the driveway and making a devious reach across our property line. I was furious, but my wife — the level-headed member of the Pincus family — told me to curb my anger or pick my battles or some other cliche to ease my rising blood pressure. I said nothing and those trees and things grew until my neighbor's tiny front lawn was covered by a mismatched hodgepodge of fauna, wide floppy leaves, narrow twisting stems and and an intertwined tangle of sinewy vines. It is unkempt, unsightly, unruly and unnecessary.

And it all blocks my view of approaching traffic.

Maybe one day, if I wish hard enough, those plants will devour her like the stuff that covered Stephen King in Creepshow. And I hope it takes her barking dog, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment