And it is GREAT!
The people who used to live next door to me are gone. They had a dog that barked at me incessantly every time I stepped outside, for years. I love dogs, but this one clearly had a short-term memory problem.
The man was also known to take potshots at people he didn’t like (I believe with a muzzleloader), and to complain to the township about various and sundry things, even though his place looked like a junk yard had thrown up on itself. I didn’t really know much about the wife, who I only glimpsed briefly and mostly at night, like a possum.
I can’t say I miss them.
Most people would complain about living next to an abandoned property. But not me, baby. I value my privacy. That’s why I live in the country with the Klansmen and meth heads. It’s not like I have to socialize with them, and they’re not going to knock on my door offering a casserole, or asking me to join Nextdoor.
For the sake of everyone else living in the vicinity, and those just driving by, I have been mowing the neighbor’s lawn (which is small, thank God), and picking up here and there, gradually creeping closer and closer to the actual door. Sneaking up on it, you might say, like the house is a timid animal that I hope to befriend.
Because I want that house. Not, like, in an obligation-imposing kind of way. I’m not going to pay the taxes on it. I’m not going to fix the septic system.
I just want to see inside.
Because it was a hoarder house. And I, being an apprentice hoarder, would like to see how the pros do it.
There are a lot of actual benefits to living next to an abandoned house. Even though I live in the country, in my neck of the woods the houses are pretty close together. I lucked out with a pasture on one side, but the hoarder house is only a few (feet? yards? I’m not good with distances) away.
Now that the people are gone, I can:
- Play music as loud as I want. There’s nothing like a little Barry Manilow cranked to 11 at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
- Write my name in the snow. Since I’m a girl, this could take a while. I’m going to need a little privacy and a lot of Mountain Dew.
- Practice semaphore with my living room lights. I’m never going to get my Sea Scout Specialist badge without more practice. Ships may rely on me one day!
- Make a smiley face on a frosted window with my breasts and FUPA. In the words of the great Jack Lemmon, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
- Begin making hideous human-animal hybrids, à la The Island of Dr. Moreau. Which maybe I watched a few too many times when I was a kid.
- Use the house next door to store all of the vitamin powder I bought as part of a multilevel marketing program that’s going to make me rich. Oh, sure, “It’s a pyramid scheme,” they said, and “You’re an idiot,” they also said. They’ll be singing a different tune when I buy a private island and won’t let them come over. I’m already practicing my picture-of-just-my-feet pose for Instagram. It’s harder than it looks.
- Finally have someplace to put all my shoes. You know what I’m talking about.
- Open a store. The house next door was, in fact, once a pet store. I remember buying a goldfish there 40 years ago that had a lifespan of maybe three days. (Flipper, gone too soon.) But I did, legitimately, have an idea that one day I would buy the place and turn it into an antique store. But who am I kidding? Anything I love enough to actually purchase and place strategically on a shelf is not something that I am ever, ever going to let some uncultured cretin take from me for their own uninformed viewing pleasure. Plus, the dusting. Please. I can’t even.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to the house next door. I will (probably) never go inside, because that would be too sad, to see the neighbors’ isolation physically manifested in all that stuff. I will enjoy it while it’s there, pleasurably scaring myself by imagining a Blair Witch scenario going on in the basement. Watching it tumble over the years into even more disrepair.
Let’s face it. The house next door is me, if I was a house. How could I not love it?