Thursday, January 29, 2009

All Kinds of Awkward

An old acquaintance of my crazy neighbor came by today, wondering where she was. It was a monumentally awkward conversation.

ME: Um... she's not living in the house any longer. She's in a group home.

Old Acquaintance: What?!? Why?

ME: Well... she assaulted me after I took out a restraining order against her. And, um, you know... got arrested. And... after a bit she was placed in a group home.

(Looooooooong pause.)

OA: Oh. Oh, no.

ME: Yeah. Her step-daughters tell me that she's doing much better there.

OA: She... attacked you?

ME: Um... yeah. But luckily not with any of the knives she kept hidden all over. So nobody got hurt. Just, uh, punched.

(Another loooooong pause)

OA: Knives?

ME: (thinking, not for the first time, that my head-to-mouth editing could be improved) But nobody got hurt! I hear she's doing much better now! And after all the kitchen fires and chemical burns, this is probably much...

OA: Kitchen fires?

ME (realizing that this conversation needs to end soon): Do you have a card I could give to her stepdaughters? I'm sure she'd be soooo glad to hear you came by.

OA (rooting in wallet): So... why did you get a restraining order against her?

ME: Uh. Well... she'd increased her number of death threats to me, and she was starting to get really aggressive. The police suggested I get one, and since they were around all the time and knew the situation well, I thought it was a good idea to listen to them.

OA (staring). (Silence)

ME: But everything's fine! She's doing much better! And nobody's yelling that I'm a whore or smearing feces on my car any more! [why, WHY can I not shut up?]

OA: (handing me the card). (Silence).

The thing is, how could that conversation have possibly gone well? Unless I'd just said I didn't know where she was? Actually, now that I think about it, that seems like it would have been the smart course to take.

Curly and my boy walking on a Hawaiian beach in their pajamas is really much more pleasant to think about. I'd think about trashy TV instead, but there wasn't really much shirt-less fun on Lost last night. Seriously? What is a storyline without a shirtless, be-vaselined man with chiseled abs? I'm sure, if Tolstoy was writing today, he would understand that a good story requires a buff and shirt-free man— the Atlas supporting the world of the story construction, so to speak— to uphold the framework of the story. Sadly, modern TV writers forget this important aspect of the art of story-telling.

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