It was like a movie. (act three)
Hi there. I can't imagine where you physically are right now, reading this post. Actually, I can imagine, but I won't share it with you. You rascal, though!
Okay, let's return to the flick. We left off last time with act two: Rita.
Panning left, keep an eye or two out for a split-screen shot of a hedge that evidently straddles a property and personal line, decorated with a plastic No Trespassing sign that is either a stern warning, neighborly advice or just a deeply-held belief. The installation artist is a piece of work who lives next-door to Rita within a crotch-high spear-tipped iron fence that marks off two burial plot-sized Bermuda rectangles at this second Property of Character dominated by Gabe.
The front yard of this residence is updated monthly with specific holiday garnishes, but the perennial frill is a small American flag — the size found on a patriotic cupcake — planted toothpick-high at the walkway lawn edge as if honoring a founding gopher.
The occupants monitor my property like probation anklet retirees. When I walk out to my mailbox, one of them comes outside to check their mail as well, facing my place from their stoop behind fanned envelopes held like a full-house bluff disguise — or when I take out the trash, they exit as a couple and, huddled nuts-to-butt, sort through their collection bins and pretend to double-check for accuracy while speaking to each other intimately as if reminiscing about recycling symbols. Their other hobbies include noisy neighbor crackdowns & vigilante parking enforcement. My landlord included a disclaimer about them in the rental agreement.
Gabe's voice organically carries with a low rumble of sub-tectonic ramblings that rapid-fire into the stratosphere — you can feel it in your shoes & behind your eyes. When his wife speaks, it is course-grain sandpaper on a creaking hinge.
Strangely, like my former landlord, Gabe's spouse is also named Rose and, additionally likewise, they have a dog named Romeo who showed up just after Rita's pooch disappeared. Somehow though, they don't also have a Subaru. I know this doesn't seem possible.
Not so much the names part — it happens — I've met three people who go by Spot — but the car. I mean, why don't they just get a Subaru like Rose 1 and get it over with — it would mean so much to me — make it linear — I need that — a sense of completion. "So why don't they have a Subaru?" I ask myself, then answer: "Because they are artless torturers". The hatchback they have instead is the color of an accidental black eye. Rose 2 doesn't drive.
Their front porch bulb is the wattage of a prison tower searchlight and changes intensity throughout the night at random intervals as though on a bi-polar timer. Gabe addresses his Romeo with complex critical thinking questions such as "Romeo! What are doing past the gate? — What's wrong with you?", followed by personal advise: "Don't be a bad boy." At the farthest border of their backyard, their house number is laid out in large rocks painted white, as if to be seen by passing aircraft.
There are two more Properties of Character we should assess, but, let's take a break. We're on my porch, so smoke if you want. Do you? — Yeah, that's what I tell my practitioner, too. Life keeps you clenched within its irrational jaws without that loosening vice of habitual secrets.
In the next act of It was like a movie., we'll look over a nameless Property of Character I privately address as "my pajama twin".