Last Sunday

I found a new creeped up level to my neighborhood last Sunday afternoon.
My place is not exactly in the nicest neighborhood in town. I think I've mentioned the skinhead hive around the corner and maybe I've referenced week-end gun shots once or twice in the past.
It's not terrible but it's not exactly Wisteria Lane, if you know what I mean.
Last Sunday, it became Shivery Alternate Universe

So 2 years ago, I move into this place and it had just been purchased by Princess Joseph. Right before I moved in, PriJo had begun to clean and plant and paint and make the place bight and sweet.
Previous to the Reign of Josie, the place was a scum-bag HAVEN.
There was trash in the three-car car-port piled so high and packed so tighly that it almost had some kind of order and meaning to it. Two of the units didn't have doors, despite the fact that people, actual human people, lived in the units. There were two old-school fifth-wheel trailers on the property, also packed so tightly with old toys, newspapers, collanders, and roaches that they had to be gutted and rebuilt from the inside-out.
It was so bad there that now, people whom I might consider to be unsavory won't even come near the place. There is a story from one of the current tenents who, at a party asked for a ride home. When she responded to the question, "Where do you live" with our address, she was told that there was no fucking way she was getting a ride home.
We had a good laugh because now, the place is dripping with bougainvilla and Jo-Jo's art. It's mustard yellow and not only are there doors, but screen doors. The trailers have been cobbled together to make one interesting living space, with two fenced yards, two dogs, three cats, and a couple who moved in right after I did with all of their art and books.
Instead of drug-dealers and whores, there is an Air Force wife and an Americorp volunteer, a drug counselor and a veternary student.
And most importantly, me.
I mean duh - did you think I was going to leave out Numero Uno Residente?
Ha! Sucker. Think again. There's also an awesome Benefits Coordinator, aka, Moi.

So last Sunday was a gorgeous day and I was all laying out in the courtyard, getting my tan on and scrolling through my cell phone numbers, trying to decide who I could call and actually want to be talking to after ten minutes of talking.
I called my Aunt Kathy, my Dad's only sister.
We talked forever and thankfully, I think I finally might be getting proof that my short-comings are GENETIC and there is nothing that I can do about them.
Not working up to my full potential is nothing more than a cruel joke by Nature, intended to teach my frustrated family a little something about what I like to call:

I get my fill of Mr. Sunny Sunshine, go inside, take a nap, eat some Fritos with French Onion dip, and wander back out in the afternoon, only to repeat the morning's findings to a similarly afflicted younger male cousin of mine. Our congenital ineptitude does not discriminate at the gender level.
This time, instead of bikini-in-the-courtyard laying out, I've opted for Sunday-after-the-sun skirt-and-tank-over-bikini and catch the last of the rays laying out. I'm also walking around.
I walk down one driveway and up another.
I'm startled by a neighbor's dog.
I'm repeating myself.
I'm pausing and inspecting something sparkly.
I'm pausing and inspecting something furry.
I'm thinking that the furry must be a toy that G-Love or Maggie Sauce carried outside and buried.
Then I remember that they are not dogs and don't really "do" the whole "bury your toys for later" scene.
Then I see the fucking ear sticking up out of the fucking driveway.
I immediately hang up with my cousin, wishing him all the best in his shared Sneaky/Inept Duality condition, hurridly gurgling out something about an ear, bodies, neighbor, pets, Grace, grave, bath. I probably scared the pee out of him, which is just as well in the event of any upcoming THC screenings.

I had found my former neighbor's cats buried in the fucking driveway.
Are you kidding me?
No, sadly, I am not.

Although it seems like everything will be "as is" until at least November, there had been quite a bit of moving at the Ms. Madrigal Compound. The last spot to be vacated and then rented was the spot that I call The Big One. It's a roomier apartment than most of the units and it has a great, big porch that opens into the courtyard.
Until some of the coolest people EVER, Michael and Sarah (YES!, With an "H" and they love America's Next Top Model and I am totally taking them to see Namoli play on Friday. Hi! You guys are so cool! Okay, see you tonight for ANTM!!!! ) moved in, this dude Kevin lived there very briefly.
He was a small, depressed man with huge red bags under his eyes, dry flakey skin, and a receding hairline and he was all of 23. He had a good heart but at the low that you are when you are Kevin, you don't function.
At all.
And so it goes that Kevin was mostly non-functional with regard to anything beyond Xbox poker games.
He had this girlfriend, and when he moved, she stayed behind to finish cleaning out his apartment and was taking the cats to her place when she finished trying in vain to get back a security deposit from a Princess.
Everybody knows Princesses are kind of greedy sometimes.
Are you making the connection, dear reader?
I'll connect the dots right now: Long story short, the rest of the residents and I think that she told Kevin that she'd take care of his cats but then after he moved out of state, she offed the cats and buried them in the driveway.
I totally had her number in my cell phone and I totally called the little freak and acted like I was all concerned. "Omigosh? How ARE you?"
"Yeah, me too."
"Oh... hey... ummm... did... yeah... what happened to the cats? I found their grave in my driveway."

"How? Oh. I saw Bootsie's EAR sticking up out of the DIRT after I leaned down to more closely inspect what I later learned to be Ollie's TAIL when I though it was a toy that one of my healthy animals dragged out of the house and buried in the driveway until I remembered that CATS DON'T BURY SHIT - PEOPLE BURY CATS."

"Well," her words tumbling all over themselves while I was as quiet as could be, noting every, single thing she said for possible use in Tripping Her Up Later, "chemicals and the bathroom.. cabinet... vet... not dead... carrier... pajamas..."
Et cetera.
She made no sense and you know, lets say, for the sake of argument, that the animals did die from some type of accidental poisoning situation and she took them to the vet. EVEN IF that happened, why the hell did she bring the cats back and bury them in a shallow grave in the driveway.
They weren't wrapped up, they were close enough to the surface to inflate with gas and float up to the surface, there was nothing to indicate that a beloved pet, or two, might have been laid to rest.
I'm pretty sure that nothing accidental happened to those animals. It's just too weird and too much work to think that she moved them to her house, they died so shortly thereafter and then she brought them back to where her boyfriend had lived for 3 months?
She drowned them and dumped them and she has a kid.

Creepy, right?

I'd never smelled a dead, familiar animal. Mark, who does lots of work for Peej and who is married to Melody, and finally, who occupies the Trailer Portion of the property with the aforementioned Mel came over to my side of the driveway (Note my care not to offer judgement or comparison here - Hi guys! Call me!) with a garbage bag.
Others of us kind of gathered around in disbelief while he unearthed the two pets with one twist of the shovel for each body. Once the thin layer of dirt that had been covering them was gone, the smell was totally rank. It's such a woerd smell because it's the smell of death, which is dead, right?
But it's totally not a dead smell. The smell itself is rich.
Now don't go getting all sicko - I effectively DO NOT enjoy the smell of dead pets. I just think it's interesting that the way dead things smell is so powerfully vivid.
You're not there but your smell is.
You're dead and you really smell bad.

Note to self: Specify deoderant in living will.

Mark double-bagged the dead cats, checking first to see if their necks had been broken. Mostly they were just matted and bloated and lacking in the eyeball department. If I had to guess, you know, since I have all that experience from watching City Confidential, I'd say that the cats drowned.

On the other hand, I don't know what dead cats look like so maybe they really did suffocate naturally or went through some type of poisoning. The fact is that we'll never know what happened. Michael and Sarah McCool-Coolio were not scared off into the ghetto and Grace won't come back in smelling like what I now know to be rotting mammal.
I feel bad for those cats, but not as bad as you and I would think that I feel about them. Since I would have expected to be all shell-shocked and disturbed and haunted, I am slightly ashamed of my relief to NOT be upset about the pets that were half-assed buried in the driveway by some freak who is raising a child. Although, now that I think about it, she did tell me once that she is trying to be the child's mother but that he really doesn't need to be parented anymore. He's 7.

It's sad, some of the things that don't add up and yet don't necessarily bother you all that much. I don't particularly care about her, the cats, the fact that dead cats that I knew were buried in the driveway after their owner left, or any of it at any important or meaningful level.
I don't think I even noticed until just now that I'm not all Affected.
I wish I had italics on this site because that word, Affected, it should really be italicized.

arizonasarah at 2:35 p.m.

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