my bodega buddy
did you hear me, people? THE NEIGHBORS ARE MOVING OUT. as i type this. they are gone. history. outta here. the new ones are coming and here's something we learned about them: because this is my life and nothing is allowed to go well, the new neighbors are going to build an extension that will cover up one of our few windows. we can kiss a good chunk of light goodbye. we can forget about ever looking outside from that particular point in our previously unobstructed hallway. we are being hemmed in. fuck the new neighbors! i miss the old neighbors.
no, actually, i don't. and, perhaps unsurprisingly, i am not alone. check this out: i was talking to the nice bodega owner man on our corner. it turns out he hates my neighbor too! he whispers to me "what do you think of him?" i stammer, "i, well, i don't know him really. he's, um, er." and the bodega guy says "HE IS A SON OF A BITCH." awesome. this bodega dude is a little syrian guy, about 5'5" or so. he told me that he had banned our neighbor, who is 6'4", from his store for life a couple years ago. i was impressed. he told me the story:
he comes into my store and he's obviously high on something. he wants a sandwich, so my guy starts making him a sandwich. when he doesn't get it fast enough he starts screaming at the guy, going crazy. i never liked the son-of-a-bitch, so i told him: 'don't talk to him like that. in fact, you know what? you are not allowed in here anymore. i never want to see your face in my store again.' and he says to me: 'why? because i'm black?' now my middle eastern blood is starting to boil. this is a big guy, but i say to him 'go fuck yourself. 80 percent of my customers are black. get your ass out of my store and never come back OR DO YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME MOTHERFUCKER!?'
he was telling me this story in his store, getting all pissed off about it all over again--and even though i have nearly a foot on him, i was intimidated. he was all "i don't care that he's so big; he has no heart. i'll tear him to pieces." i love it. the dude pulls no punches. he tells me that i have a nice house, "but it needs some work, some paint. no offense." none taken. every time i buy a big bottle of chimay he gives me a shmancy chimay glass. score! today he carried my beer and ice cream home because i am on crutches, even though i can usually manage on my own. plus, he gives me all the gossip. he tells me tells me what everyone on the street paid for their houses--that the new neighbors put $600 grand down in cash! he knows all and sees all. i must never cross him.
so ... what, village vanguard gets no love from you people? why do i bother showing up?