Warning: Some graphic descriptions that can make your stomach turn. You’ve been warned.
I had given up on this neighborhood. Seriously. I don’t make any more attempt to be neighborly or friendly or nice. A month ago, neighbors invaded the clubhouse after midnight, hollering and all. I looked out wondering what the commotion was about then realized that the people in the clubhouse were all drunk and they were throwing up and peeing and spitting and… it was just disgusting. I tried to call the security guard but he wasn’t picking up. An hour later, I have had it. I walked out of the front door and screamed at the drunk assholes. That sent them home.
Okay, I wasn’t polite. But politeness seems out of place when dealing with people who don’t think there’s anything wrong with rousing the neighborhood after midnight with their drunken talk and senseless shouting. And it’s not like it was an isolated incident. It is common practice among our neighbors to congregate at night, put chairs and tables on the sidewalks, on vacant lots and even on the roads, drink until the wee hours of the morning while talking and bantering in tones loud enough to wake the dead and make them moan in protest. Oh, and sometimes, that’s not even enough — they have to have their drunken karaoke singing too.
Now, I’m not a jerk. I drink. My friends come over and we drink. Many times, until the wee hours of the morning too. The difference is that we stay inside the property. Often, inside the house. And no effing karaoke. I could never understand why the assholes in the neighborhood can’t drink and be merry inside their own houses where the concrete walls can, at least, muffle the noise. Why they have to do their shit in the common areas like the sidewalks and roads is beyond me. They don’t want to disturb their own families but it’s okay to disturb the rest of the neighborhood? Nice reasoning.
The situation was such that there really wasn’t anyone to rely on to patrol incidents like that. I am the minority. There are more residents who indulge in disorderly behavior and, if we go by numbers and do a “democratic” exercise, I lose. So, I solve my own problems. Drunken neighbors too noisy? I’ve called the police once or twice. If they don’t come, I know how to scream and threaten. And my vocabulary for humiliating words is really huge. Live and let die.
It’s been that way for a long time. Then, last weekend, there was a letter from the officers of the homeowners’ association. The people who handed me the letter were talking about the Halloween party on October 22. I thought that was what the letter was about, I looked it over but didn’t really bother reading.
(No, that’s not our house. We almost bought that one but the girls said the bedrooms were too small.)
Anyway, I was talking about the letter. A day later, Speedy picked it up from where I carelessly left it. On the breakfast counter, I think. He asked me if I had read it. I said, “It’s about the Halloween Party, right?” Which I have no intention of attending because I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend to be nice to people whose heads I’d rather bang against a concrete wall (or whose balls I’d like to cut off with the garden shears). But, naturally, we will contribute food and cash for the neighborhood kids for whom the party really is for (I hope they don’t grow up like their parents).
Then, Speedy started reading the letter aloud. There is now a rule prohibiting drinking on sidewalks and vacant lots. Unbelieving, I took the piece of paper from Speedy and, true enough, there it was. No drinking in common areas. Reminders about loud voices especially at night. Something about a volunteer brigade in cooperation with the barangay officials that will patrol the neighborhood at night. And, in caps, something about being RESPONSIBLE RESIDENTS.
Wow. Progress. I won’t forget to give the president of the homeowners’ association a nice gift on Christmas. And I’ll hand it to her personally. With my sweetest smile.