Last night was luxury.
I got off work at 5, went shopping and bought a couple exciting things, met Melissa for dinner at a restaurant where we got the full gamut of appetizer, entrees, dessert, wine. Afterwards, having no responsibility except to be at work at 9 the next morning, we picked up more wine and headed back to my house, where Kim and Jen joined us in the celebration of the fact that it was a normal Tuesday in Boston, that we were grown-ups with no one telling us to go to bed or not to drink or to clean our rooms. We listened to music, I wailed on my guitar, and then we climbed out onto the roof to enjoy the mild weather and beautiful night. It had been so long since I've had a night like that.
From the roof we could see a man was working in this dim light of his computer through a window, and after a little while of our standing around chatting to each other, he came out onto his porch. He said, "Excuse me, my son is sleeping upstairs, could you please lower your voices?"
I apologized immediately and told him we'd speak more softly. I'm very sensitive to noise myself and I felt pretty bad; the last thing I wanted to do was be inconsiderate -- and who wants to offend one's neighbors? But then, perhaps working up his nerve, he said: "And I've been meaning to ask if you can take that orange... thing inside? It's starting to look like a trailor park over there."
By "orange thing", he meant the folding lawn chair that has been, admittedly, sitting sideways on our roof for months. We've been meaning to let it dry and take it inside, but whenever we think to do it, it's raining. (Also, we call the roof "the veranda", because you actually crawl out onto it from our living room window. But it is, in reality, someone's roof.)
Maybe this guy grew up in a trailor park somewhere, and he was using the comparison an ironic, bemused manner. Maybe he's so bruised by his childhood in a trailor home, and so glad to be free of it, that it pains him to see a lawn chair marring his view.
But as he stood there on the balcony of his multi-story South End home, sympathy was hard to come by. We were all rather dumbfounded, at least enough so that we only came up with appropriate responses once we were back inside.
Like, "And would you mind taking in that thousand-dollar grill and the exotic potted trees for the winter? It's starting to look like a pied-a-terre over there."
Okay, so maybe I'm still working on the witty response.