A Naval vessel is constantly cleaned. Most sailors believe they are simply being kept busy, and to an extent, this is true. However, it serves another, more vital purpose. When you are at battle stations and other states of readiness, you are confined to exceedingly small airtight spaces for many hours. When the guns fire on such a craft, any dirt or dust is shaken loose and spreads through the air. You must not only breathe it, but try to see through it as you perform your duties.
Surely you know what dust bunnies are. They are little gray clumps of undetermined material that appear under your bed and defy all cleaning efforts. In the U.S. Navy, they are called ghost turds. No matter how much you clean and scrub, they will appear, and dust will fill the air, every time a gun fires or the ship smacks into a wave with immense force. Back to this momentarily.
Why would a person live in an apartment unless someone is holding a gun to make him do so? I’m living in one, and although Mary Carmen did not hold me at gun point, she may have held me at lip point. It’s astounding what a man will do for the lips he chooses to kiss, forever.
Apartments are not man’s natural habitat. Well, they are natural for the man who owns them and has a burgeoning bank account to prove it. They are sometimes akin to dog kennels and often look like them. You can not own a car without door dings, and you must attend all your neighbor’s parties as you try to sleep in your bed. The gate works at times, but most times the only people it keeps out are the actual residents of such places.
The pool and other facilities are usually so full of non-residents that you can only stand at a distance and wonder what’s it’s like to have a pool. You must jump through hoops to prove you are suitable to be a resident, but then watch as the parking lot fills with derelict vehicles possibly belonging to those who are not.
You get to stand around in parking lots and discuss the latest car break-ins with your neighbors as they walk their dogs, which are against the rules. If you own a grill, you may store it on your deck, but must never use it. It’s not like you don’t pay dearly each month for the right to char grill a steak.
You must be privy to your neighbors' arguments and their choices of television shows. The apartment above us has had three sets of residents since we moved in. Once, as we sat outside on our deck enjoying a glass of wine, the neighbors upstairs broke into a fight. It spilled out onto the deck above our heads. Then is developed into a loud, amorous encounter which caused me to blush. It’s hard to make an old sailor blush. I was embarrassed the next time I ran into them in the breezeway. The next occupants had kids, but we never heard a peep or step they made.
Last weekend new residents moved in above us. Immediately, their pet elephants started running through the apartment. They start long before dawn and thunder across the apartment until late in the night. The apartment shudders and shakes and any dust that has escaped Mary Carmen--and trust me, that’s a hard thing to do--falls and fills the air. I love to be reminded of my days in the Navy, but this is a memory best not remembered. I was beginning to think they had installed a wrestling ring.
With great anticipation, I struggled to catch a glimpse of the four hundred pounds Samoans who had moved in upstairs. I kept watching the parking lot as I have never watched someone walk a pet elephant. I was curious about how they would accomplish it or what the leash looked like. Okay, I was more curious to see what the pooper scooper looked like.
I was beginning to believe they were wrestling Samoans, with pet elephants. who used a transporter, because they never came and went. I never saw them move in, and I’m here most of the time. I was wondering if they were a tribe of Swahili’s, complete with drums. This does kind of sound like a Star Trek or Twilight Zone episode. Hummmm maybe they’re blue.
Then yesterday I saw them for the first time. Two young girls. If balled up and thrown on a scale, they would scarcely weigh a hundred twenty pounds combined. This revelation created more questions than the answers I needed. I guess they could be practicing for the Olympics or preparing for their roles in an upcoming Kung Fu movie.
Sadly, I’ll never know, but knowing might confuse me more.