Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bootstrapping

I moved into a new apartment in February after a short stint in Garland, the town often said to be the inspiration for King of the Hill. Most of my time these days is spent painting, doing minor electrical work, and building new furniture. I listen to a lot of country music. I was given power tools a few years ago and they finally are being put to good use. I'll have some photos soon.

The new place is across the tracks from the old. That's true on two levels, literal and metaphorical. Late Thursday night while walking home I saw a shirtless and agitated man pacing the sidewalk carrying a shotgun. Someone had tried breaking into his house, he said. He wanted to know who I was. I told him I lived down the street and he calmed down. I'm glad I was still wearing my teaching costume. I can't imagine someone breaking into my place wearing a v-neck sweater and button down, and I guess this guy couldn't either. The only person I've ever seen breaking into my place wore leopard print pants. Last night a friend and I stepped out onto his porch to have a beer and saw the aftermath of an accident. A crowd of witnesses were telling a cop that the guy who caused the accident drew a gun and put it to the head of the guy who had been driving the car he struck. He had driven off and some cops went tearing off in the direction he supposedly went. After that, the street was flooded with cops and the choppers were called in. For reasons that were never clear, the cops eventually cuffed the guy whose car had been struck. Bad night for him. I haven't seen a gun yet this morning.

I still have to say that I prefer my new neighborhood to the old. Maybe the chances are higher that I'll be shot, but I still like my neighbors now better than I did back in uptown. No one drives a Hummer. No one wears BeDazzled clothes. There's not a W sticker in sight.

8 comments:

Leo Iacono said...

Dear Clayton,
Enjoy it while you last! What sort of country music are you listening to?

Clayton said...

I've been on a steady diet of Hank Williams, but as my mood improves I'm listening more to Johnny Cash and even the occasional playing of Marty Robbins and Bob Wills.

Clayton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clare said...

Holy shnikies. That's some gangsta shiz, Clayton. I was down in your neighborhood last night, glad I didn't get caught up in any of that.

Clayton said...

I guess it's a good thing I took all those kung fu lessons in fourth grade. I'm sure if I had to I could just snatch the gun out of someone's hand or dodge the bullets.

Mike Almeida said...

I still have to say that I prefer my new neighborhood to the old. Maybe the chances are higher that I'll be shot, but I still like my neighbors now better than I did back in uptown.

I defy you to provide a decision matrix, given these outcomes and preferences, where your choice turns out rational! I still remember a party where someone I actually knew decided to draw a gun, reassuring everyone that it was not loaded (have any idea how many people are killed by "unloaded" guns?). I can't imagine having agitated neighbors waving shot guns around. Maybe it is less serious than I imagine. I have seen the occasional blogger posting pics of himself as John Wayne with sidearm. Despite the deeply solemn effort, unmistakeably Barney Fife. But your gun-guy seems more serious.

Clayton said...

Mike,

I doubt I can provide a decision matrix for anything, so you certainly have me here. In filling out that matrix, you have to remember that I'm strongly averse to people who drive Hummers with W stickers on them. They were mostly pretty disgusting Dallas yuppie types. My new neighbors are a nice mix of people with real jobs, bad cars, and they are much more willing to actually talk and lend a hand. There's also a lot more crime, but I think (hope) I'm looking at an abnormal couple of days.

I'm assuming that the guy who flashed his gun last night wasn't from the neighborhood. The guy carrying the shotgun was about a block away, so I'm not certain he falls under the extension of 'neighbor'. That one's a tough call. I'm sure if he had gotten closer, things would have been much scarier. There was sufficient distance between us, however, so it seemed more comical at the time.

Udoka said...

Wow, that is awesome. I mean, awesome in that you can write a blog and say something like that and it actually happened...

P.S. Garland ain't so bad. :( I've never been in personal contact with so many conservatives until I enrolled into SMU.