Friday, April 24, 2009

Love notes from Gloria

You've all read about Gloria, the 84-year-old neighbor (see this post:

She knocks on my door yesterday. "Tommy! Tommy! Are you in there? Are you sleeping?" I had just come out of the shower (hmmm. Impeccable timing or opportunistic vixen?) so I was dressed only in my skivvies and a t-shirt. Throw on some jeans and answer the door:

Gloria: Oh, you ARE there. Were you sleeping?
Me: No, I was just in the show---. Uh, I was getting dressed.
Gloria: Oh, you're going out?
Me: Yes, but I won't be home til the evening.
Glo: Perfect. Can you get me some wine?
(Now, I've done this for her; fetched two large bottle of red swine, I mean wine, that she favors, so this isn't an unusal request)
Me: Sure.
(Long, uncomfortable silence ensues. Me wondering: 1. What was the cheap brand again? 2. Where's my money you needy wench?)
Her: Oh, they know what I like.
Me: (Thinking: 1. Who are "they" exactly. I'm now a psychic and I know where you buy your wine now? 2. Where is my money you needy wench?)

(Did I mention I'm not a nice person. I don't think I'm hell material, but I'm not Gandhi. Yes, I tend to eat quite well).

So I figure I can remember the bottle when I see it. It will be the biggest bottle for $5.99 in the joint. And I know the approximate location of said wine)

So, an hour or so later I leave for my afternoon meetings and appointments (I gotta work to support Gloria's drinking habits.) There is a note outside my front door. And $15 in cash.

Now Gloria is 84, as I said. She sometimes leaves notes "Open this" for her goose-neck Clorox toilet cleanser or "I'm sorry you didn't clean off my car yesterday (in the snow)."

Direct, to the point.

But here is the note from yesterday:

"Tom: 2 of these (note next to empty bottle of Livingston Burgundy Reserve Red Swine, I mean Wine.)

Thank you for taking garbage out. *

I'm waiting for the doctor to tell me when he's going to do the job. **

See you later. I'm going to go for the mail. I hope I make it." ***

Okay, after resisting the urge to swallow every capsule, tablet, drug and cleansing product in my condo, I thought the following things from this note.....

* I had no choice but to take the garbage out. Gloria leaves the foyer at about...hmmm... 100 degrees, so she's warm while waiting for the taxi pick-up most days. Even during the summer. (Anyone who's been here knows I am NOT exaggerating). I usually take her garbage out anyway, but this day she left the garbage outside her door in the morning. When I left that evening, her garbage included: an empty tuna fish can and an empty (I think) cottage cheese container.
Okay, I mentioned the 100 degree thing, right? Blistering heat. Tuna fish. Cottage cheese. You get the idea. I had no choice to take out the garbage or else risk the smell of hot vomit when I got home.
I'll wait while you go vomit yourself too.

** Um, Gloria and I talk once in a while but I don't know her last name, how many children she has, where she was born. None of that. Our conversations are limited to the length of time I can stand breathing in 100 degree air, or until she asks me my cat's name ("Fumbles" I tell her, followed by her saying "Hello Tumbles." This has happened five times already). These conversations last about 38 seconds or roughly the amount of time my first layer of skin takes to melt.
So what's with this too-much-information note about the doctor and doing the job?? Uh, I got nothin' Glo Worm. Usually a line that includes "doctor finishing the job" would be ripe for humor, or adult movies. But this was kinda sad in a "maybe you shouldn't be drinking shit wine" kind of way.

*** The mail is literally 20 feet from our foyer. Look lady, I removed the steamy bag of garbage (by bag I mean the little plastic shopping bags that old people use for trash containment. And next time Glo Glo, can you tie it up at least?). And I'm buying the wine. Don't guilt trip me into the mail thing. Just because my name is Mr. McFeeley doesn't mean I'm a mail delivery expert. My uncle did that crap with that cheesy Mr. Rodgers til he had to go postal on the Neighborhood of Make Believe. It wasn't pretty. Or make believe.

And, besides Glo Stick, if I do this mail thing, then it's gonna be "Can you reach that can of 10 year old pea soup. I'm just so weak, I can't do it" or "Come change my light bulb. It's so dark and I'm so weak. And I can't even see the can of soup I'm going to ask you to grab for me." And we all know what will happen. My sweaty hands in your 105 degree condo will drop the can of soup, hit you in the head, and then I'll have to somehow call your family (if you have one) or go to the emergency room with you. At least the ER will be more comfortable.

So later in the day I leave the wine outside her door (with the two dollars change. She asked me once where her $1.17 in change was, though never offered extra money when I bought one extra bottle of swine, I mean wine), and I barely get into my place when she swoops up the wine and the money.

I haven't heard from her since then. Given the daily treks to the mailbox, the vague doctor/job reference and the hope I make it crap, who knows if she got to finish either of the bottles yet.

I won't get worried until I smell rotting cottage cheese -- from INSIDE her condo. Or, is that REALLY cottage cheese that's rotting????

Wow, I AM going to hell afterall. I hope they dont' serve Livingston Burgundy Reserve Red Swine.


Dave S. said...

Strangely enough I think you're going to heaven based on this. The hell-bound would have fled the vicinity or cranked the music/TV to drown out the knocking etc.

This is kind of unfortunate as I was hoping to share an eternally-free-refill Livingston Burgundy Reserve with you in hell.

TommyMac71 said...

Dave, it's hell, I might not have a choice. B-bub, as I like to call him, will determine the menu I think

Susan said...

PLEASE begin leaving her notes telling her you need instructions on what to do with her body when she passes. Do you want to be cremated or buried or both? And please tell her your cat's name is Fuk.

Cee Bee said...

She has you well trained, TommyMac. I can't blame her. You COULD say "No" but you choose not to :)

Blasé said... greatest fear.

Suzy said...

Boy, are you going to be upset when you turn 84 and realize you have no neighbors.

Dee Shore said...

Aren't you ashamed now? Poor little old lady. I love old people you have the best conversations specially when they are all crazy.