Tuesday, August 19, 2008

living the rural--what's a neighbor to do?

The not so great reason to live in a rural area. A water duct underneath the narrow street burst this past weekend. Water was shut off in the middle of the afternoon, hot and humid. Luckily, we had had a morning-shower and a frig full of bottled water.

But then came a Bang-Bang-Bang! at our front door. A lady stood breathless and in panic. She wore terri-cloth light blue house shoes, the kind with the flimsy would-be rubber soles. Her arms flailed and beads of sweat had gathered above her top lip giving her a wet mustache. She didn’t have on a bra, so her D-sized breasts ran down her stomach underneath a yellow and red stripe tank and knee-length peddle pushers. She stomped and pleaded, “Water! Is yal’s water off too?”
Highly unconcerned and accustomed, I said “yea.”
She said, “Oh Gawd no! I got perm in my hair and it’s gon burn if I don’t take it out! Oh Gawd!”
I wasn’t sure what to say. I asked if she could drive to a nearby relative’s house because I was sure the water was only shut off on our street. The panic grew stronger across her face. She looked over to a neighbor’s, then yelled at someone further on down the street, “Ey! Roscoe! Ey! Yal got water?!” He yelled back “Nawl!”
“Damn! My hair gon fall out! This shit is startin to sting already!” She stomped then began shaking her hands (sort of like when you miss the nail and hit your finger--reflex). She dashed off the lawn past the gate, never looking back at me. I followed with a “sor-ry.” She didn’t respond. I closed the door. Just then Gera came from the kitchen with a big bottle of cold Aquafina. “Que paso?”

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