I met my neighbors.
Now to those of you new to my blog, this might not seem like a big deal. But to those who have long followed the events of Crabcorner cowboy-infested compound, this is HUGE! Mysteries are about to be revealed in this here post! The whys, hows, and whats are at last to receive their answer. No more shall questions surround the log-slum across the street. Names will be mentioned and the cloak of secrecy surrounding it all is, at last, to be flung off.
We were at Wendy's.
There, I said it. Were it not for the proceedings that happened at Wendy's I would never owned up to going to Wendy's. But the whole truth must come out here, and come out it shall:
Crabtown in summer, it is thick with tourists wishing to see our nonchalant bison and to frolic in our chilly lakes with their peevish kids. So on the rare occasion when the Crabfam needed a quick restaurant bite before picking up a friend at the airport, we tried 3 spots to find the lines 1-hour deep. Hence, I capitulated and went to one of Crabhub's digs, the trusty Wendy's, where the man gets a Biggie Fry and Burg—a number 5 or something—every week, between his more rarefied finicky Crabhubby meals, for God knows a Crabhub doesn't eat out of a tupperware, but that's another story.
After dropping the words "chicken nuggets" close to the Crabtot ear, Crabhub ensured no substitute, and thusly did we go to a ghastly 70's-era brown sheetrocked Wendy's. It honestly looks like a square turd. In such moments it does not help to note that one buys only organic chicken for the home. You just get the nuggets and your spicy chick sand, and off you go to the greasiest table in the Platonic sphere of Greasy Tables.
So we are noshing on our hormone-permeated grub when I smell an intense and particularly sharp wafting scent of manure. Over my shoulder I see 3 cowpeople— 2 cowboys in hats, 1 cowgirl quite stunning and thin as a bean with a giant belt buckle the size of Wyoming and sort of Joni-Mitchellesque jangly turquoise earrings. They look...very familiar. And I am not positive, but I am almost sure that they are part of the scene across yonder Crabcorner way. They are not the frat boy cowboys pictured in earlier postings. They are the other ones that lurk in yonder trailer. Then, Crabtot says something cute and they smile at us.
The moment is ripe.
"Do you guys live on TK drive?" I ask, and they answer "Yes, right across the street from you." (Evidently my photo-snapping moments weren't as surreptitious as I thought. There was total recognition in their eyes.) For a brief moment I thought they might ask me why I catalogued their every move for my blog; for a brief moment I wondered whether anyone would produce my missing Ikea fork. Instead, something worse happened. The absolutely smelliest possible hand extended toward me for a shake. "I'm Aaron."
I closed my eyes and shook as jovially as I could under the circumstances. And wondered how I could go from that goat-and-horse-scented paw to my chick sand, and then I realized it was all of a piece really. Then the hand extended over to Crabhub. And I saw my man desperately trying to look nonchalant (a man whose fastidious, soft, white-collar hands have known little in the way of manly work) as he clasped the chapped, red, aromatic cowboy claw.
"Was it you wrangling a goat in the middle of the night a few days ago?"
Aaron and his pals were delighted that we had noted the goat. You see the goat-roping is practice for them. They work at the local rodeo. And do trail rides from the ski village. And otherwise engage in touristic western activities. And they live on the property of a man who is apparently a legendary old guy about town, one of the slummy rich horse-peeps that have been here long enough to make trillions in real estate and slummy horses, a geezer who owns a touristic western activity outfit employing these summer-job-seeking horsemen and allowing them to crash on his property in his various hovels and cabins. They spoke of him with deep affection.
I have to say, they were just the nicest sort of itinerant guys. They promised to bring the goat around often and encouraged us to come over with Crabtot to see him get roped. They asked us if they were ever too loud in their drinking and meth sniffing (well, something like that was implied), or in their goat-wrangling or post-rodeo games of horseshoe on the old weedy plot where the cabin used to be before it upped and went away. Of course we protested "not at all!" and "not loud enough!" and so on (and in truth they really aren't very loud and anyway the rodeo drowns them out in summer). They insisted that if they were ever loud, we should just come right on over and they would tone it down. And then Aaron got wistful about the burned cabin and spoke of many summers spent happily in it and I thought that perhaps I shouldn't ask if he had set the fire that brought the whole thing down and caused it to fly away. Plenty of time for that question later, perhaps over a fire in an old can next to the brown rusted trailer at the far corner of the compound, all of us chewing baccy and drinking from paper bags and looking into the distance sometimes, like we've seen a thing or two in our time, while Crabtot grubs beside us in the dirt with her goat.
So there at Wendy's, something truly went down. In the unlikeliest of places, friendships are born. We left with more handshaking and good wishes and the Crabfamily rushed home to set about scrubbing ourselves with antibiotic handsoap.
And so begins a new chapter in this series. Will it be as interesting to have these neighbors now that I know their names and can witness the goat-wrangle for myself as an invited guest? Skulking and spying has generated so much intrigue for me...and judging by the readership I receive in the Something's Going Down posts, spying on these nabes has fascinated many more than just the Crabfam. But let's hope that closer relations will show new truths and produce intimate Crabcorner revelations that will knock our collective sock right off.
Meantime, I have done much waving and "how's it going?" with Aaron and his peeps since. They listen to their cowboy music from their cars and hold up a Bud and Tot and I hold up our hosepipe and wave at them while watering the herb garden. And I am very glad there is no fence between us, because, as I am sure you will agree, in this case, good fences would never have made good neighbors. I mean, I'd never have been able to see in.
Monday, July 16, 2007
I met my neighbors.