Some of you may remember a column I wrote about the brothel across the street from my house. To summarize: about a year ago, my friends rented their house to a couple of single girls who turned the place into a whorehouse. When I reported the activity to my friends, they shrugged it off because the girls paid their rent on time. And I didn’t care either, except that all that late-night traffic kept my dogs barking through the night and disturbed my sleep.
Sadly, the entrepreneurs eventually stopped paying their rent and fled in the middle of the night, stripping the house of light bulbs, appliances, and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.
After several months, my friends finally got the house fixed up and put it up for rent again.
“Please don’t rent to whores, again,” I pleaded. “It disturbs the dogs.”
“Well, I can’t promise anything,” my friend said. “There aren’t a lot of other jobs in the area, especially for single moms.”
Last week, our new neighbor moved into the house. She is not a whore. She is something far worse.
She is friendly.
During the middle of a snowstorm, there was a knock on our door. I looked at my girlfriend in horror and said what I always say whenever anyone appears unannounced on our doorstep: “What fresh hell is this?”
“Should we answer?” she asked. I was about to suggest that we hide in the bedroom, when I noticed a pair of curious eyes peeking into our front window. We had been spotted. Reluctantly, I cracked open the door, fully prepared to politely shoo away a Jehovah’s Witness. Who else would be so crazy to be out visiting in this storm?
The answer soon appeared on my doorstep in the form of a googly-eyed matron in a macramé hat. She was thrusting a banana bread at me like a weapon.
“Howdy, neighbor!” she trilled. “I just moved in across the street. What a storm, huh?”
The blizzard swirled up around her and she made a theatrical gesture to suggest she might freeze to death if I didn’t invite her in. I briefly calculated what my culpability would be if I left her to die in the storm. Then I glanced at the banana bread — one of my many culinary weaknesses. Damn her!
“Come in,” I said with a sigh. I reached for the banana bread, but she held it close to her bosom.
“It tastes best with a hot cup of Joe!” she said.
Clearly, she had much experience as an interloper. She knew exactly how to make a 10-minute visit drag well into the midnight hours. While she nursed her coffee and nibbled at the bread, she reported that she had been watching us from across the street and already knew our routines — what time we rose in the morning, when we returned at night, what clothes we wore when traipsing around the house. Before we knew it, she managed to extract our email and phone numbers. A fatal blunder on our parts.
I finally got her out of the house by feigning a mild coronary episode.
Since our first encounter, she has sent us a barrage of emails extending invitations, none of which we’ve responded to. We’ve taken to avoiding returning home during daylight, when we’d be easy targets for her aggressive conviviality.
This morning, we spotted her on watch. She has taken to stationing herself in her living room window, watching for signs of movement in our house. The moment we turn a light on she hustles across the street, armed with homemade cake and dismaying good cheer.
“I think we’re going to have to move,” said my girlfriend.
“I miss the whores,” I sighed.