27 May 2009

I don't mind my neighborhood, except when the visitors (literally) piss on it

I really don't mind living just off South Street. Yes, the Duck tours go by with a scary frequency from April to Thanksgiving. (Our bedrooms are in the back.) Yes, there are hordes of tourists, teens, suburbanites, and general knuckleheads around all the time, especially when it's warm. (It's lovely to hit my coffeeshop at 7:15 or run my errands well before noon, even if all the trash isn't yet picked up from the sidewalks, because South Street is E-M-P-T-Y then.) Yes, it's well on its way to becoming a boardwalk, not a real destination neighborhood for arts and culture. (But it's nice that the McDonald's is gone.)

But you know what bothers me the most about living off South Street? That assholes think that it's perfectly acceptable to walk up the side street below my deck in the back and take a piss on the corner of the building next door.

Saturday afternoon, while I was trying to enjoy an iced whisky and water and some low-brow science fiction on my deck in the back, I heard the familiar splashing sound and winced. Most of the time it's way late at night, when the kids who live on the street are in bed. This, though, was about 4:30 in the afternoon. What an asshole. So I set my drink down, marked my place in the book, and leaned out over my railing. "Hey! That's nice, real nice. That's great," I said. The offender looked at me stupidly from behind his mirrored sunglasses -- before he'd begun, he couldn't have seen me -- and got away a little more quickly, it seemed, than he'd planned.

Two thoughts come to mind. First, actually I'm ambivalent about it, when men decide to piss on the corner of that building. On the one hand, the neighbor who lives there is a pain in the ass, really. She puts broken glass in the area around the street tree at her front door so that people don't let their dogs around it. Broken glass, instead of, oh, I don't know, maybe a fence? Or paving bricks? Or a sign that says "Curb yer dog"? And I saw her get in a fight one time with one of the unlicensed contractors she hires to work on her place, and she locked him out with his tools inside the building. "That's my livelihood!" the guy yelled for several minutes, along with some choice curses, before she let him back in. She's nuts. But on the other hand, as I said, right across the way is a family with kids. Their kids and mine don't need to see that nonsense, and nobody needs to smell it when we have a heatwave. Well, maybe the crazy neighbor does.

Second thought that comes to mind: you know what I need? I need a motion-activated camera trained on that corner, so I can start posting the assholes' pictures.

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