Since I've been unemployed, I like to think of myself as the neighborhood watch. A modern day "Pearl" from 227, if you will. I especially like to keep tabs on my block. We have a lot of kids on this block and lots of people who actually get up and go to work everyday. So I make it my personal business to take care of everything while everyone else is leading productive lives. And even though no one really ever mentions it, I know they all appreciate it. Especially my neighbors directly across the street, Huck and Gwen.
From where I am sitting right now typing, I can see clear into Huck and Gwen's living room. It's a little dusty today and from what the cleaning lady tells me, it's like that everyday. But I can keep an eye on all the comings and goings. I know when the mail is delivered. I know when UPS drops off a package. I usually go get the package and bring it to my house for safe keeping. And to shake and look at the return address to guess what's inside. I would hate for them to have it stolen. When the lawn service comes by I make sure they do a thorough job and shoot Huck a text to let him know. I usually get a nice "thanks Babe" reply. Huck's Italian so that's how he talks. But I like him anyway.
One particular morning as I still slept, about 8:30ish, my phone rings, so naturally I think someone must be dead for my phone to be ringing at this unGodly hour. But no, it's Huck. Seems his fire alarm went off and sure enough the fire department is outside ready to put an ax to his front door. Not on my watch. I run over there, in a really cute pair of matching pajamas, because I'm always prepared, and put a stop to it. I jumped right in front of that ax-wielding fireman to save Huck and Gwen's front door. It's like those stories you read about, you're just running on adrenaline. You're not thinking about how you're putting your own life on the line to help a neighbor. It was all instinct. It was scary, but I'd do it again. In a heartbeat. After I offered the fireman some coffee, we all shared a good laugh and a few hugs. I assured them I had it from here. After all, I have seen every episode of Rescue Me. One fireman remarked they could use more people like me on the job. Naturally, I was flattered. And I'd be lying if I said that was the first time I have ever heard that. But I prefer to do my heroism behind the scenes. You guys can be the ones with all the glory, I'll just be the beautiful face without a name. Now go on. Get back the firehouse to your chili-eating and nap-taking. I got this. High fives all around.
Now not everything is hunky-dory between Huck and I. Huck has a key to my house, not that I ever really leave. But Huck prefers I do not have a copy of his house key. Odd, I know. One day Gwen was locked out of the house. Huck calls to see if I can open the door. With what? We've been over this. You won't give me a key. I don't have one. See how I'd be able to save the day if you'd just give me the key? Another time I see a guy having a smoke on Huck's front porch. So I sit here and watch him as I call Huck. Turns out it's his friend from out of town who spent the night and just locked himself out. Again, I have no key to help the poor sonofabitch out. So I do the neighborly thing and invite him over to lay on my couch and watch tv. With my four kids. He kept insisting he could just wait on Huck's porch for three hours. No way, not on my watch. You sit right there and play with my kids. I don't mind.
I did finally get my hands on a key a few weeks ago. Huck needed me to let the cleaning lady in. So not only did I have access to a key, but also the coveted alarm code, which I can only assume has been changed by now. But it was one of the happiest days of my life. Until Huck asked for the key back at the end of the day with this note attached...
Now Huck never said he was just joking, he didn't have to. I knew he was. That's just the sort of relationship we have. And Huck has a great sense of humor. Like the other day when he was talking to a guy on his front porch. From across the street it seemed as if he was going to have some sort of landscaping done. So I went right over to find out what was going on. Huck introduced me, with an eye roll, (see I told you he was funny) and explained they were trying to decide how to better cover his front windows with trees to keep nosey neighbors out. I winked at Huck. I said, I know who you're talking about. Then I asked the landscaper for his card, I think I'll do the same. If it's one thing I can't stand, it's a nosey neighbor.