Daily Post: Second-Hand Stories
What’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all.
Although there were several other blog posts planned, this was too good a topic to skip. After all the best stories are people stories although this story does not have a good ending or even a satisfying ending at the moment.
The first story is about my neighbors. They moved in 15 years ago and the first thing they did was put in an ugly fence with even uglier plants designed to grow tall and create an ultimate privacy fence. Bad neighbors, they spent years not acknowledging us. Wouldn’t even say hello. And they never once mowed their patch of lawn on the front yard. They never water either so there are lots of dead plants; but there is a thriving weed patch. Called the police once to report us for child abuse because Kate was shrieking about not having to clean up the dead gopher. The woman has had some serious back problems and she totters around, a hunched figure the occasions when she comes outside. I think she is addicted to narcotic painkillers since she often appears loopy. The man is not much better, he spent several years working overseas while she lived there alone. She survived with the help of a taxi cab driver called Joe.
Recently the situation has become worse. The couple separated. She called the police and reported that he abused her. There was one night where she was shrieking that he was beating her, but it didn’t sound like it. I thought the shouts sounded like the people in the nursing home when David was there who had sundowners. Something about the end of the day turns people with dementia into shrieking irrational beings. Anyway the police came and the man moved out. And she lives there by herself.
During the hot spell last August, she shrieked for us to come put the fire out in her house. I took the fire extinguisher over and looked for a fire. There was nothing, but lots of dust in the air. The house was unbelievable. It puts home hoarders to shame. You can barely walk down the hallway because there are so many piles of things all over. No cooking because the kitchen stove, kitchen table, and all the counters are piled two feet high with junk. She said there had to be a fire because it was 87 degrees in the house. It was 87 degrees outside at 8:30 pm. It was hot. There was no fire. After that incident, I called health human services. She should not be living alone. The police have visited a few time. Health and human care, elder protective services has come. But no one can do anything.
It gets worse and worse. She called the police because a neighbor had a childrens birthday party and was playing music at 6 pm at night. Her claim was that the noise was illegal. She’s called the police because our cars are parked in our yard. She is no longer speaking to us since we won’t call the police over various minor issues. The taxi driver she used for years no longer comes because she threw a coke can at him. But the story that Bob told me this week about her was even worse. And it is true.
Evidently she inherited some money from her dad or somebody. And she has a check for 250,000 dollars. So she approached yet another neighbor to help her cash this check. This neighbor had never met her before and didn’t believe our stories. They spent six hours visiting different banks, all of which rejected the check. Then the second neighbor visited the house and was appalled by the overwhelming trash and piles of junk. She did get the phone number for the woman’s son. After leaving this woman in her home hoarders masterpiece firetrap, she stopped by and talked with Bob. Another long time neighbor came over with her daughter and the four of them were talking. Then as a group, they called the sick woman’s son. He said that he didn’t have anything to do with his mother. Evidently she has been mentally ill for years. He lived with his dad and called it protective custody. When he sees her now, she threatens to kill him.
But he did promise to call social services. And we saw this woman’s husband and told him she should not live alone. He agrees and would like to get her into an assisted living facility. I hope happens soon. I don’t trust her not to do something crazy. And I
am worried she might try to poison the pets. So we work really hard to keep the cats all inside and the dog inside. It is a pity that we don’t have services to help with cases like this. And unless she does something illegal, there is no way to force her into assisted living or a medical facility. The lady at social services said we had to decide how much we wanted to do for her. I don’t want to do anything and feel bad because I don’t like her. And I hate being scared about what she might do. Does she have guns in the house? Will she call the police again on us? I hope she moves out soon and I no longer have to deal with the issues. Selfish yes, but it is also a matter of our lives. There is only so much time, energy, and love that I can give.