Saturday, June 11, 2011
Every morning this summer the bass from my neighbor’s car wakes me up at seven.
He parks his two-toned cream and brown car along the curb because his parents’ cars fill the driveway and their extra belongings fill the garage. I’m pretty sure the car was living a Sandford and Son existence when I was born because the only things that seem to work consistently well are the speakers. What kind of man clings to something so old and ugly as if it has value?
The kind of man who can’t do better, that’s who. When you are in your thirties and still living with your parents beautiful, functioning cars aren’t your priority in life. In this case, as best I can piece together from living next to him for fifteen years with only occasional nods and half smiles as communication, his priorities are: first – smoking pot, second – loud music, third – sitting in his garage on a metal folding chair, fourth – a job. Somewhere much farther down the list is a belt.
Each night, once I have tucked myself in and drifted sweetly into a dream I awaken with a startle. The sound is far away at first, but as the car nears his house my windows start rattling. Then as he sits in his car for ten minutes my ceiling fan will swing from side to side, dancing to the beat. The length of time he sits in his vibrating car depends on the night of the week, Mondays – not so long, Saturday – at least a half hour. Either way, I know the torture is over when I hear his car door slam shut. Once I am asleep again time passes quickly and the next thing I hear is the sound of his bass, the only difference is now the sun is peeking into my bedroom. His morning routine isn’t the rushed hurry to the car and speeding down the street I do when I’m going to work. He lingers. He starts the car and sits in it for five minutes, long enough for me to give up any hope of going back to sleep. He drives off slowly so the resonance from his bass fades one thump at a time. And I get out of bed and reach for the Excedrin.