Over the years, our street has seen its share of difficult and unusual neighbours. Like most residential areas, we've had the codger who has called the police over urgent issues such as kids playing basketball or street hockey. We've seen those who literally could not mend fences due to opposing tastes. There used to be people next door to me who played their music so loudly that the mirror on my connecting wall would vibrate - at four in the morning. We still have one post-middle-aged male who has spent most of his summers walking or biking around, dressed in nothing more than a Speedo. And yes, it looks as ridiculous as it sounds.
Ours is a very transient area and most of our colourful characters have moved on, but one of my neighbours gives me great concern. Don't get me wrong - he has a very lovable personality. With his engaging smile and flirty eye contact, he has endeared himself to the women, and even the men on our street. Although new to the area, he has become a welcomed part of our regular get-togethers, but during these events it has come to my attention that he clearly has a serious drinking habit.
Despite his obvious charm, he can be loud, demanding, and at times has been known to show a significant temper. The young couple with whom he resides seem to be unconcerned with his frequent liquid dinners, lunches and even breakfasts. Like the rest of us, they have become quite enchanted with him and so they turn a bit of a blind eye.
We all pretend not to notice when he lets out a loud belch or fart, and we're all too polite to complain about how he sometimes eases his way through the women in the crowd, in hopes that he can land a subtle grope at a nearby breast. We don't really mind. We all know that he'll soon imbibe his next fix and pass out shortly afterward - a trickle of drool running down his face. All too frequently, he's been carried home and put to bed in just that state.
In spite of my concerns, I have big hopes that our neighbour will cut back on his excessive drinking one day. Right now he appears oblivious to anything edible that is spread out before him when we congregate for barbecues and planned parties, but I believe that our charismatic friend will eventually come around. I know he's worth the wait.
Just take one look at his big, blue eyes and tell me I'm wrong.