Loud knock on door. I check clock. After 9PM. Engrossed in novel, thought to ignore it. Got up, planning to say to Phil, "Do you know what time it is?" with angry scowl on my face. Was not Phil or any neighbor. A smiling man holding a box of Cracker Jacks, says he brought me something. I am confused. Think he is one of those people going door-to-door selling stuff to earn money for some student thingy. But he said my name. Not sure what else he said as my mind is processing this.
Oh, it is Chauncey. I am clueless as to what he is saying. Something about getting letters and Grateful Hearts; needing to take a bus; the Village. I do not know Chauncey. Spoke to him twice. First time, he was sitting on step wall at apartment building on the corner. No longer recall what he said that day except for my name, which bothered me. I must know him, right?
During conversation that day he mentions Doug, Phil, Food Bank. So I may have met him there or he just saw me there and Doug (more than Phil) talked to him about me. I asked Phil and later Doug about the man. Neither knew who I meant.
Another day, walking home, Doug is talking to the guy in front of my side gate. I stopped to chat. The guy told me his name, Chauncey. He lives across the street, not in building at corner. We were talking about Mr. Manager. "He is stubborn," Chauncey informs me ~ knew David for years from other apartment complexes David managed.
I open door to better understand what Chauncey is saying; smell the booze on his breath. I clarify; the Village budget cuts, they are no longer going to drive Village members to Grateful Hearts to pick up food. I was embarrassed to tell the guy again that I could not clearly hear what he was saying. Something about picking up a lot of food, eating steak and "we are both Village members, so..." ~ I do not know. So he will share with me the food he gets from Grateful Hearts?
Then he invites me to dinner ~ home cooked meal, steak. Too bad I did not think about my inability to chew steak due to lack of teeth. I declined, saying I was just getting ready for bed; reading another chapter of my book. Then he asks, "Tomorrow night? 5?" WTF!
At the same time this conversation is going on, I am listening to John and some lady, maybe another man as well, talking real loud. I glance over to Chris' apartment, his Great Room lights are out, but enough light from the hall, kitchen, bathroom to see the bed and maybe his sleeping body. Flabbergasted, brain not functioning, I do not say the things I should have said.
"How did you get in here?"
"Do not ever knock on my door again?"
As he is leaving he leans into screen door to whisper whatever way he said it, the gist, want to smoke a joint. I tell him I do not smoke pot. He says, he did not know I quit. I tell him I never smoked pot. He says maybe Doug was talking about "that other lady". The gist, that she lived where Phil now lives and was a pain, maybe 3-4 years ago. Must have been longer than that.
Other than old manager's wife, the only woman who has lived in this complex besides me was a loud, noisy lady who babysat her sister's newborn. The woman never spoke to me even when I said hello as we both headed to mailboxes or otherwise passed each other in courtyard. Never knew her name.
Wednesday night, September 5, 2012