Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Late Night Conversation With A Drunken Neighbor

There I was walking the dog and there she came staggering toward me.  The dog was sniffing an interesting blade of grass and so my 'run for your life' instincts were put on hold.
"I imagine you've had a different kind of Thanksgiving," she slurred and staggered my way.
Since I had had a different kind of Thanksgiving -- having declared it a day of feeling glum and deprived --  I could only agree with her.
"Yes," I said.
"And we are all so sorry," she careened toward me.
"Oh," said I beginning to wonder if my glumness had oozed beyond my own four walls.
"It must be really hard on you," she continued, beginning to appear oblivious of my presence.
Just then another neighbor staggered into the street.  I began to suspect that my neighborhood was not as  staid and formal and, yes, boring as I had long believed.
"You know," she slurred to the newly arrived to the street scene neighbor, "these people (pointing at me) are having a pretty hard holiday."
Now I was really confused.  So was the man to whom she spoke and whose name I had forgotten.
"Oh?" he said practically mimicking my previous response.
"Yes," she continued now an authority on my misery and my life.  "Her dog has pancreatic cancer."
Stunned, the dog and I both stared at her with wide mouthed amazement.  The man with the forgotten name also looked pretty confused.
She appeared content with her announcement and was beginning to stagger toward what I presumed to be her home although at this point it is doubtless quite obvious I know little about my neighbors -- not nearly as much as they presume to know about me and my life.  However, I felt compelled to correct her misappropriation of information.
"My dog isn't sick," I practically shouted at her.
"What?" she whirled on me.  She seemed to be accusing me of misinforming her.
"My dog isn't sick.  My partner had surgery for pancreatic cancer but we're pretty sure they got it all.  She is, however, recovering from the surgeries to remove the tumor.  I'm sure it was she you had in mind."
"No.  I'm sure I was talking about your dog."
"But he's not sick."
"Well, thank God for small favors," she said and disappeared into the darkness and hopefully toward her home.
Thank God for small favors.
That pretty much sums it all up, anyway.

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