14 September 2015

Not a coyote to be seen in my neighborhood.

For some reason, all I keep hearing on the radio, reading on the internet, is all about The Nineties. Blah blah blah The Nineties. September is the month of the Nineties. The nineties can be up to 25 years ago and that makes it a quarter of a century and that is officially, really, really old. Old enough to have tribute bands and parties and festivals.

The festivals feature aging rappers and smooth skinned Lisa Loeb and Carson Daly and neon clothes.

Neon clothes? Who was wearing that in the Nineties?

Girls in ironic plaid shirts and weird sunglasses are saying, "Yeah, my MOM wore this!" as they bust out in hilarious giggle fits then fist pump and shout, "Who's down with OPP?"

"Yeah, you know me." Every last homie.

The nineties is when we bought our house. We never thought we'd live here very long. Because we were going to buy a ranch. Beautiful acreage near forests and probably ocean views from the ridge. It would have hardwood floors and a lot of flat, sunny acreage and it would be so quiet up there on our ranch. That's what we talked about in the Nineties.

I walked around this neighborhood with Timmy in the Nineties. Me and him spent a lot of time walking around LA and SF then driving back to Santa Cruz together in my old rusty truck without AC. Timmy didn't need AC or a dog crate. We just both sat on that seat together, on the seat covers I bought at the old flea market, and sometimes we did get hot but we had our windows open. One of the most supremely awesome cool things about buying our house was that it had a stackable washer and dryer. Our own house with our own washer and dryer. We got a new one a few years back when the original one died. Went to Sears and picked out the same kind. Delivery guys came and installed it in the same place. It still works good.

In the Nineties, we had the same neighbor we still do living on one side of us, and the other side was Richard, who listened to the History Channel turned up to 11 all day and typed on his old typewriter. Once he went to Antarctica and he used to leave lemons on our porch. He died in that house after they amputated one of his feet. Now there's a bunch of students crammed in there that scurry away when I see them because I got mad when they were throwing knives at our fence. I wasn't really being a bitch, who throws knives at their neighbor's fence? Huh? Who does that?

In the Nineties, there were the 2 sets of gangster kids who lived across the street from each other a little ways down the block and there were some shootings on our street then kids who had the pitbulls went to jail and the kid from the other family disappeared and his family moved away after the dad paved over the front yard to park his car there. Both their houses have been totally remodeled now, one is 2 stories tall and no more cigar smell, a family lives there, they walk by my house on the way to school. The other one has a lady with a Mercedes who got curtains instead of sheets for the living room window.

I say hi when I walk by with the dogs. There's a lot of little kids on our street. Always have been, just now in different houses. Most of the kids like to pet the dogs. Gustavo loves them all. Banksy loves all kids unless they are wearing those kid bike helmets that have plastic mohawks on top and they're riding tiny bikes. She cannot deal with plastic mohawk kids on tiny bikes at all. Ruby is sort of weirded out by petting these days. She looks squinchy and uncomfortable. And I always tell all kids, "Don't pet this one," and point to Otterpop. Who has already moved behind me and is laying down pretending the kids aren't there, as if they never existed at all. She only ever liked that wild kid from the far end of the block. Sometimes I see him, he's still short but he drives now instead of riding his scooter. He'd always throw it down in the middle of the street to see the dogs. I used to let him walk Gustavo with us down to check the surf. His parents never seemed to care he was gone.

Once a SWAT team had to close down our street. That was when our neighbor had some troubles and couldn't keep it together and the guy that flooded her house was still living there and either she tried to shoot him or he tried to shoot her. That guy was trouble. I tried to tell the cops she wouldn't shoot anybody and they yelled at me to get back in my house. My other neighbor across the street went out and tried to tell them the same thing and they made her 80 year old self take cover behind a car then later she went and brought out her dining room chairs for the SWAT team guys in case they got tired of hiding in the bushes. She died a long time ago, I went to her funeral and there was a bagpiper.

The old guy in the sea captain hat lived a few doors down on the other side of the street, he always had all these fine looking ladies living in his house. Then there were fewer ladies and a long string of shady looking dudes living there and camping out in his garage. One of then once climbed way up in his palm tree  with a machete and just stayed up there. Sea captain hat died and the house was empty for a while with a bunch of tarps over the roof and now there's a couple of people living there with a Golden and a little dog.

I pretty much know most of the dogs around here. The house around one corner has a super gnarly pitbull that they run away with when it sees other dogs. And on the other corner, in the house that only has a fence on 3 sides is the really old but really loud pitbull that charges the fence if we walk by. And there's the lady from around the block who finally started training her aussie to not go ballistic when it sees us. Took a long time but good for her. There's Mr. Lopez's teensy chihuahua that's outside barking in the afternoons and Ollie next door and the guy who lives in my friend Chris's old house got a new black dog when his old yellow one died. And the lady next door to the people with the big RV and the tiny car with glued on car eyelashes just got an aussie and wanted me to to walk it for her. Maybe too much dog for her. There was a mean dog at the house where the hash oil lab was, they went to jail when they blew up the living room, not sure who took their dog. The lady with the corgis lives across the street from there.

We never thought we'd still be here, across from the market, 3 houses from the corner. But this is where we are.

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