A few weeks ago, on a Sunday I believe, our neighbor dragged all of her living room furniture onto the curb: Two couches and one big ass sofa chair. No idea why and no clear sign of replacements.
The first couple of days, we would spy the younger kids draped across the oversized couches – engaged in deep discussions about their friends and pop culture. Passing by, masking my judgements with a forced smile, I would think – how cute and yet so ghetto.
Two of the pieces were picked up quite fast by Craigslist “FREE” crawlers, but one remained. And it stayed there – lonely and defeated – until the rains came and swiftly washed away its potential of ever having a new home.
When the rains had subsided for 1.5 days, a new flower box was installed where the two couches had been stationed. I thought – how nice – such pretty flowers. Then I noticed that the chair had moved and was now in front of our house. Clever.
I obsessed over this chair. I did. I worried about rats and cats and what not, and I fumed about my neighbor’s audacity and fantasized about how I would put her in her place – NY style. But I told myself to be patient – to not focus on it, for surely it would be disposed of soon.
That was eight days prior to this morning. See I was checking a voicemail and happened to gaze out the window only to spot that Harry the homeless guy had taken up residency in our front lawn. This was no joke. This dude had moved in. His dusty self was draped across the chair’s lumpy frame. To his left was a plate of beans and a camping cooler and just behind him, parked at a 15 degree angle, was his big blue shopping cart. One you’d get at Walmart – substantially large and quite an eyesore for a residential neighborhood.
I was furious. My neighbors’ tacky and waterlogged sofa chair had been defacing my lawn for weeks, and if that wasn’t bad enough, now I had a homeless person and his ugly cart to deal with. And I should have seen it coming. Furniture to the homeless people is like milk to stray cats – you put it out and they come. And then they stay.
I have no problem with homeless people. I feel for them and want to help them. But having one 20 feet from the safety of your home is not something easy to digest. Because you don’t know if they’re crazy; you don’t know if they are messed up with drugs, off their meds, homicidal maniacs… you know nothing, and so you can’t confront them. You just have to watch them and pray that something inspires them to leave.
I closed the front drapes and wrote a nice note (double-spaced on loose-leaf and cluttered with smiley faces) to the neighbor requesting that she call for a bulk pick-up and have the chair removed. No mention of Homeless Harry – I figured that was assumed.
About an hour after I taped the note to their front door, I heard the neighbor clunk down the front steps and shoo Harry away,”You take that to the corner, that is just disgusting!” she said. She must mean the beans – they did look pretty gross. Hey – why the corner? Is the corner less offensive?
Harry is gone now and the loose-leaf note has moved to my door with the addendum, “it will be gone by tonight – *smiley face.” Poor chair.