This is at the North Carolina Museum of Art. There are some good works owned by the NC Citizens.
I got angry with a guy who was digging in the scraggle at the end of Pleasant Dr. here in Carrboro. I’ve been wanting to do things and I can’t go far so the end of the street is attractive land. I’d want to put a store at the top of the hill. I thought some lighting on the trail down to the parking lot of the Estes back apartments would be a called for good thing.
The last time I’d cared anything about any of it to find out about any of it the reason told for no lights was that the city (town) didn’t own it. Then I thought the apartments owned it and weren’t pushed to put any lighting there, so it didn’t happen. Then I talked to some girls, pretty girls, who said the anarchists who don’t have a leader but have regular meetings own the land.
I called on the phone once and got a message machine and left a message. Nobody called back.
So I saw this guy digging over there and walked over while buttoning my shirt all up and struggling to do it since I have pain and it hurts to walk far, 50, 75 yards is far. Walked past the McQuires Christmas elf and the pin oak that has survived. Arrived then at the end of Pleasant Dr. where the man in blue muted cloths was digging with a maddox what really didn’t make lots of sence.
The handle on the maddox was very old gray and was so that ungloved hands would get hurt quickly with much use. Looked like it had been laying against an outside wall for a good while. He had barbershop cut hair of medium length gray. His face was long and wider around the eyes with a revealed forehead.
My curiosity has been up with all these ideas swirling as I walk more and more.
I want my drivers license back bad. The surgeon doesn’t want me to drive my wife says.
So I had made it down to the end of the street and asked him, “How you doing? You own this land here?”
He looked up finally as I stood at the edge of the 15 foot that is the circle of our personal space. Even in the urban crush we are aware and look at and out for whatever is in that circle. So you start from there.
“I live just over here.” Pointing with the back turn nod of my old head and as I am open handed with nothing in black sweats and a gray gentleman’s shirt as my wife knows to dress me as much as a gentleman as possible for the old and knarled of hands. I stand.
“I don’t feel like answering your questions.” He said in his crabby snarly way there. So I moved a bit few two and a half feet forward and said, “Why not? I just live right over here on this street?” and I meant it see, for we are obviously to me neighbors and in my world you want to know and get along with your neighbors who are typically okay and open to talk with when outside in sight in public.
I am not sure exactly what I said before I said, “Well I’ll keep my eye on you.” and started to leave off.
He said “You better watch it friend.”
“I’m Not, your friend you short little son of a bitch!
He said, “I feel threatened, and I know what to do when I feel threatened.” and ran off by me with the maddox and handle there as I made sure to be in the strike distance then to be myself and of my ground and not afraid, but moved on as he went into then the front door of the second of the two buildings of a compound as the last then there at the end of Pleasant Dr.
I can’t run or walk but so fast and was worried and embarrassed that I couldn’t move quicker and had nothing so that if he wasn’t going for the phone to the police and was going for a gun I was going to be in range for longer than I wanted.
When I got in my house which is the third on his side and the second on my side of the street I called the police and told them my address and that I had had words with one of the neighbors and had my gun and wanted them to come over.
It took them about 15 12 minutes at least to come as I collected my needed things which were a phone and an ink pen and a pad of paper and a tape recorder like machine that is a sound recorder. They had asked me to leave the pistol inside.
“Yes of course.”
Three cops showed up and one was a younger guy near oval small headed with stubs of hair and a short long haired woman who looked 15 pounds overweight and confused as the younger came up and then in the un marked car hanging back was the older cop who later had to take over when all was gone on too long for my tastes and judgements.
I’m 61 now, and not some jerk ass kid. Really truly if this guy was going to call the cops on me I was not going to just sit and wait for them to maybe show up, but call myself and say I was ready to talk about this.
It is good to be above and I was on my porch looking down on two of them. They had been alerted that I could be armed and my pistol was just inside the door, though still in the holster flap down.
“Mind if if give you a body search?”
Well actually I sort of did but said, “Sure okay, and this officer whose name I don’t have gave me a body search pat down in my clothes that are all pliant and don’t hide much well like jeans and a jacket might. I don’t even have a belt on. So I am patted down while the girl, watches. Girl Officer. This girl isn’t more than there.
“What is the problem?” – Did this get said?
Well I told them I wanted them to come over and put on this show to satisfy this guy who was obviously a high strung touchy sort who if they felt threatened was creating this sort of interaction and I felt might eventually or in the past be the sort to hurt people.
“I’d like to be able to walk down that way and will maybe have to carry my pistol.” Oh no you know that got a rise out of them.
“We don’t want you to do that.”
“I can do that legally if I want and show it.”
Now the taller old man is in on it and he is all sort of agast. Some time back I’d got to feeling that we ought to be able to have legal any weapons same as the cops can have, as if it is legal to have the same as they get like now they can get assault and sniper and body armor weapons and protections civilians aren’t supposed to be able to have like even the knife they can get that will full slide out a blade faster than a switch blade thought about. Cops can get knives to fight with you can’t.
Did you know that.
“Yeah, but it is true some people get all excited if they see a gun.”
Low and behold the younger asks, “Do you have a carry permit?” And I said well then .”Yeah I ought to get one, but they cost 300 bucks.”
The face is acknowledging then yes that is an expense. “I guess I ought to get some pepper spray.” Which we can all agree is a better idea for constant carry.
“I got that for my wife.”
So then that is some of the story, longer than I wanted of my interaction with the neighbor at the end of Pleasant Drive, next to the little shack neat house of micro living space there for sale no one ought to want with such a neighbor.
Lots of people live around here. This is a real dense neighborhood. They need lights down the trail.
Earlier I had said that that little bit of scraggly woods between the back of the apartment complex and the dead ended street was part of what would keep us sane. Too much concrete is bad for your mind. Well that that is ugly flat with no story etched in as detail. In Gramercy Park of NYC there is a building that has basrelief designs eyelevel for you to look at as you walk by. The architect knew what he was doing. The building is undistinguished, but then friendly for no other reason but that to be of that spirit there.
It is now just God and Man in competition. So I see it.
I told my wife that back in tribal times days something like that I could raise up my tribe and go and kill him and take his land.