They're Watching Me

A while back, Aunt Moses lost her double-wide up on the mountain, a victim of shady mortgages, medical bills and life in general. She was lucky to find a nice sized home to rent, out behind the elementary school, overlooking the baseball field. Aunt Moses does janitorial type duties at the school and drives the school bus route that goes up Fall Branch and into the backwoods.

The other night, T.A. had taken Jolene to work. Her tires were wearing thin and she didn't want to take a chance on having a blow out somewhere between here and civilization. She works the vampire shift.

The next morning, I get this text message from Aunt Moses, "Where are you? Are you home? Are you okay? Where's the truck?"

Apparently, when she went by the house in the school bus, at the ass crack of dawn, she flipped her noodle when she didn't see Jolene. Of course, I explained what was going on and she eventually calmed down. I appreciate that she's concerned, but between her and the neighbor lady across the street, I feel like I'm being watched all the time.

When all that stuff was going on with Long Lost Daughter and losing my job and.. well.. ya'll can imagine, I wasn't myself. Some days I just sat on the front porch and smoked, ignoring the phone and trying to get my head together. Well, if Aunt Moses texted me and I didn't answer, she'd walk out the front door of the school, where she could peer down into the holler and see if I was alive. I've caught her doing it a few times.

It's creepy as hell ya'll.

Woodrow lives across the street in an old trailer parked on a lot they used to rent from Dubya. He used to work up at The Asylum, but hurt his back and ended up on disability. I don't care for him much, he used to call me "Big Mahala." I had to fight the urge to call him "Crippled Up Old Woody."

It seemed only fair. But I'm a nice person, so I refrained.

His wife is kind of a nutbar but nice enough. She waddles by the house 2 or 3 times a day, walking her little dog. She had cancer a couple of years ago, did the chemo thing and seems to be doing pretty good. I'll never forget she had cancer, because she tells me every time I talk to her. And about being sick from the chemo. And every medication she's on.

I know she sits over there and watches my house, because if I step out on the porch to hang out laundry, she suddenly appears, dragging her little dog across the road.

Sometimes I hide from her.

Oh, I've told myself she's just lonely. If I was cooped up in the house with that asshole of a husband of hers 24/7, I'd be desperate for someone to talk to as well.

She's commented, more than once, that she's seen my bedroom light on at night and wondered if I was sick. She said she's debated whether or not to come knock on the door and check on me. I've calmly assured her that I'm fine, just a bit of a night owl, while on the inside I'm praying, to all that's Holy, that she never does that.

I'm a little jumpy at night after T.A. goes to work. If someone were to knock on my door in the middle of the night, when I'm here alone, I'm liable to crap my jammies. If I'm wearing any. Our porch light doesn't work at all, the only light is from a solar string I put up last fall. They barely glow. Plus, I've lost my glasses, so I can't see too good anyway...

I have been known to answer the door with a butcher knife in my hand, if I'm spooked bad enough. I'm really going to need for Woody's wife to keep her little waddle butt over yonder on her side of the road after dark.


I'm going to go hang out some clothes now. We'll see if I get trapped outside.

Later Taters!!!


tiff said...

There's not much to do in a small town except spy on one another!

kenju said...

Tiff is right. You are their entertainment!!

Joy T. said...

"If I'm wearing any". That, combined with answering the door with a knife in your hand may just be the deterrent you're looking for. She would only come knocking once! :)

Celia said...

Small town for sure! Maybe she's lonesome, still creepy though.