I realized recently that I haven't lived in a town for about 17 years, and I'm here to tell ya, I hate streetlights! I have an idea to make tin shades for them with star shapes cut out directing the light down into the street instead of into my eyes as I try to find the moon somewhere behind their glare. I also hate middle aged men, or really anyone, on a Harley-Davidson.
But I love the twenty something gangsta wanna be named "Chevy" who lives up the street from me. The other evening I was walking out to the street to finish pruning some branches on the road there. As I turned the corner, there was Chevy with a small kite trying to get it to fly. There was plenty of wind, but for some reason the kite just wouldn't take off. We both shrugged and smiled at the same time at the kite's obstinate refusal to go up. It was a moment full of unspoken good will and cheer. I loved it. But wait, it gets better.
Now you have to know that where Chevy was trying to fly his kite is a small parking lot behind a four story building and near a side alleyway. Pretty tight quarters and very tricky wind wise. Also, surrounded by tall trees. When I rounded the corner and saw this man wearing a bandana and low riding baggy jeans, overweight and running up the alley with a little kite on a string that was spooling out on the ground - I was instantly in love with Chevy. All my resentment for his previous weekend's performance - ala Marlin Brando and Stella, you know the one, where he's drunk and yelling outside her window from the street - evaporated with our mutual shrugs and smiles at the sweet absurdity of this dang kite's insistence on being earth bound.
So I turned to my pruning and Chevy sort of hung his kite up in a bush next to his door, kinda like tying your horse to the hitching post, and went inside. Pretty soon he was back out in the street talking on his cell phone. He was telling a friend about flying his kite "bro, like a thousand feet up in the air, mon!"
This went on for about another ten minutes or so. Me pruning, Chevy on the phone wandering in and out of his house, the kite fluttering on it's shrub in the wind. I sort of lost track of Chevy and his story, I was pruning bro, like a thousand little twigs, mon! Anyway, I was interrupted by Chevy, cell phone to his ear, saying "excuse me sir, did you see my kite? It's gone! It must have blown away! Did you see which way it went?" And sure enough, there was the string broken in Chevy's hand. We both looked around astonished that the kite could have made a break for it while both our backs were turned. Also, the wind which had been blowing at a good pace up till now, was suddenly still. Again, shrugs and smiles, and on my part at least, wonderful cheerful love for a troublesome neighbor. No sign of the kite.
I have a postscript to this story, it goes like this: about a week later, around 3 in the morning, I was woken from a sound sleep. Chevy was locked outside his apartment again, yelling at Maria. What woke me was Chevy bellowing, "I have just two words for you: F***ING B*TCH! No, wait, thats THREE Words!"
I could just see him in the dark - fuming, frustrated, and counting fingers.....
I fell out of bed laughing.