My Racist Neighbor

Seems trustworthy.

I’ve had a very busy Saturday. I don’t typically enjoy very busy Saturdays. I prefer them low-key, but sometimes, it happens.

This morning, I had to go back over to my old house to remove the last piece of my property–a car that’s been sitting there for a couple of years. I bought that car new in Massachusetts. It had fist sized dents in the hood from when Monster #2 tried to kill both me and my car. That car moved all of my stuff cross country in a trailer bigger than it was and I still drove it for a number of years after that. I put 214K miles on it and then the transmission died. Her name was Lucy.

Nobody would take Lucy from me, because nobody wants to replace a transmission on a 1997 car with 214K miles on it, including me, so I parked it in back of the garage. It sat there for a few years because I’m an out of sight, out of mind kind of person. I should have taken care of it years ago, but because it was parked behind the garage, I forgot about it. As long as I was living there, it wasn’t an issue, but then I moved out and left it there like an inconsiderate jackass.

Seems trustworthy.
Seems trustworthy.

I called around to all the “cash 4 cars!” type places and found one willing to come get it on Saturday for $100. That is, they’d pay me $100, not the other way around, which was nice. They said they’d be there at 10am. I was there at 10am, greeted by the people who live there now, an uptight friend of ours, her husband and their two small children.

To give you an idea what I mean by uptight, she has been an absolute pain in my former roommate’s ass. She said my room smelled like dog. There are brand new floors in my room, installed after I left because there wasn’t really a floor while I lived there. The floor I lived with for four years was basically wood colored contact paper. I wiped down all the walls. I even cleaned the little niches in the door that collected dust. There is absolutely no way my former room smells like dog. It has a brand new floor.

Before they moved in, she came over to inspect the place for like the ninetieth time and complained that the house wasn’t childproofed. My roommate was still living there at the time. The closest he comes to toddlers is having been one many moons ago. Who the hell complains about a house not being childproofed when no child lives there?

Now, she is demanding that he install a dishwasher in the house because there isn’t one. Can you imagine telling a landlord to install a dishwasher in a rental unit? Most landlords would laugh while wishing you luck in finding a place that came with a dishwasher. What fun!

Anyway, there I am standing amidst small child debris, with a toddler and baby in a helmet. I’m not kidding you. The baby wears a helmet all the time apparently. That’s one way to childproof a house I suppose.

I looked at my phone and saw that I missed a call so I returned the call thinking it was the tow guy. Nobody answered and I hung up. A few seconds later, the same number called me again and a voice said, “Hello? I got a missed call from this number.” I replied, “I got a missed call from this number.” “Oh, are you the lady in Burbank?” I thought maybe it was a clandestine code. I almost replied, “Yes, the crow flies straight at midnight” just to see what would happen. Instead, I told the truth, “No, I am not now nor ever have been a resident of the city of Burbank.” “Oh, I see you now. I called to tell you we’re running late. We’ll be there in 15 minutes.” This was at 9:56. Ten seconds later, I realized I forgot the damn key to the car. Oopsies!

I had to run home and grab it. The problem was that I had no gas in my car. My original plan was to take care of the old car and fill up the new one at the gas station on the corner. I had not anticipated adding a trip home and back to that before I got gas. My car tells you how many miles you can go before you run out of gas entirely. I watched it anxiously ticking away. When I pulled up in front of my old house again, it said I had 1 miles until stranded on the road dead. Great.

I walked back into toddler world and tow guy still wasn’t there. All that rushing for nothing. I went into the backyard under the guise of inspecting the car, but really just wanting to escape baby in a helmet. Babies are creepy enough on their own, but put them in a helmet and they’re doubly so. Wait wait wait.

Finally, tow guy showed up with a flatbed the size of Texas. There was no way to get the car out of its semi-permanent home with it. We’d have to push. So, tow guy and I began pushing. I was wearing a skirt. All of a sudden, my former next door neighbor who I had only ever met in passing came over to lend a hand. How completely neighborly!

Tow guy had me fill out all sorts of paperwork and then he had to get on the horn with his boss because his boss neglected to tell him how much to pay me. In the meantime, former neighbor guy and I chatted. He said, “You’re not moving away are you?” I said I already have. This was the last of my property to remove. He asked who was moving in. I said it was a married couple with two small children. Then things got hinky.

He said, “What are they like?” I didn’t know what that meant and said, “They’re a nice couple I suppose.” Then, he said, “They’re not like this are they?” and nodded at the Latino neighbors who had come outside at the sound of Texas and at the tow guy speaking Spanish on the phone. It took a second to understand what he meant since I am so unused to dealing with racists in real life. My jaw dropped. I picked it back up. Fortunately, I didn’t have to say anything because he was already off on a tangent about how he’d lived there for thirteen years and has watched the neighborhood decline. Decline meaning, become more colorful I suppose.

The thing is, it’s a very strange neighborhood to live in if you’re a white supremacist. Crazy cat lady next door and Mr. suddenly racist are the only white people for blocks. The rest of the neighborhood is all varying degrees of color. I liked it that way because a bunch of white people all gathered together creep me out. They creep me out because some of them are like Mr. suddenly racist and I don’t want to be a party to that. I have lived in mixed race neighborhoods all my life.

This ridiculous conversation pissed me off to no end. I can’t help it that I’m white. None of us can help the color we were born with, but just because our colors are the same, that doesn’t mean we share anything in common. I had more in common with tow guy who was friendly and nice than I did with Mr. racist. I wanted to punch him in the snout for assuming I think like he does. I guess he didn’t know that my roommate’s fiancé for the last two years we lived there was black.

Fuck you, racist guy. I’m not racist and I am insulted that you would think I am just because of my skin color. I’m so glad I don’t live next to you anymore. Get bent.