Of Nighttime Lawn Mowing and Murders

12 12 2008

This account is of a mysterious affair involving my curious  neighbors who smile too much and find life mottoes in Donnie Darko. (Now the real question is, is this story true? Is my life really this peculiar? )

1:56 am – There’s a dog howling somewhere, and its loud.  I shove my head under my pillow, hating dogs. But the howl is still there, loud and obnoxious. It then takes me a full minute to realize it’s my dog howling. Ah, for crap’s sake! “Shut up!”

2:14 am– Mom’s up. The dog hasn’t shut up and Mom’s furious. She storms out of her room, sheets following from their haphazard grip on her jim-jams. “I’m gonna kill her!” she roars. There’s a crash shortly after and we’ve lost another lamp. Then the back door opens, the dog’s out, and Mom’s swearing.

Just a typical night.

2:36 am – The dog wants in, and she’s letting everyone know. I’m up before Mom is, as we can’t afford any more lamps. Once the dog’s in, I shut the door. But then I open it. And shut it again. Then I open it. My dog goes to Mom’s room – she thinks I’m nuts. But I’m not. Or maybe I am. Because it sounded like someone was mowing their lawn. What the hell?

2:42 am – I finally go outside. It’s dark, it’s cold, and full of nighttime noises – such as lawn mowing. I follow the noise, like a typical idiot in a horror flick. I did, however, grab the hose Mom left out earlier. I’ll just spray whatever it is, so hopefully it’s a alien from Signs. They’re allergic to water, you know.

Turns out, it’s my neighbor. Shame, I love to fight aliens. Probably the closest I’ll ever get to Doctor Who(unless I start stalking David Tennant). Surprisingly, my neighbor (a middle-aged fat man, who looked rather like a carrot with legs) waves and smiles at me (as if this was a common occurrence). I stare in response.

2:48 am – He stops the lawn mower and meanders over to the fence. “Yo, you awake?” Maybe I should spray him with the hose. I nod instead. “Good, good. Shame I’m not a rabbit, eh?” I nod again. “You sure you awake?”

“It’s almost 3,” I say instead. “And you’re mowing.” He shrugs and murmurs about keeping the grass short. I swallow. You know that movie, Disturbia? It has Shia LeBouf and that man (I can never remember his name) who was in The Rock with Sean Connery and was in House, M.D.as Tritter (3rd season). Anyway, the murderer in the movie mowed his grass everyday – so not to ruin is underground graveyard foundation. Well crap.

“You know you sleep walk out here all the time, right?” I knew I slept walk, I didn’t know I left the house. My jim-jams are suddenly hot and sticky on body. “Do you remember what you see?” I swallow. I shake my head. He looks … relieved. “Good, good – well, back inside with you. Bare feet, you’ll catch your death.”

I tighten my hold on the hose. “Sure. Say ‘hey’ to the misses for me.’

“Ah, I would but she’s gone. Dead, you know. Last week.” I can’t help it, my eyes flicker to the large and full tarp spread out in his backyard’s corner. That appeared a week ago.

“Oh, sorry. Really.” He shrugs and says something about her being a ‘nag.’ Oh god, he murdered his wife. “Well, goodnight.”

3:11 am – I can’t sleep. My jim-jams are still hot and stuffy and sticky. My head hurts too. I’m overacting, I know. He couldn’t have murdered his wife. Well, he could’ve, but still, I was assuming. But I was also sleep walk, at night and outside, near him. A murderer – wait, no. Not a murderer. Just a strange neighbor who mows at night.

I’m overacting. I need to sleep.

4:48 am – The dog’s howling again. I’m up in a flash. She only howls when she sees someone. We back up to a alleyway, so we never worry. But I do now. Seeing how my neighbor was creepy. I shush her but she doesn’t stop. She’s not that cool of a dog. So I push her back and slip outside by myself. Yeah, hello first idiotic victim of the horror slasher flick.

But I find something curious for all my stupidity. My neighbor has opened the back gates of his fence, which he couldn’t do with the grass being too high. Uh-oh. And he’s backed up his truck into the backyard. And he’s loading up the tarp, which has fallen around the hidden object – is that the shape of a body or just me? 

I watch, expecting an arm or leg to flop out. Nothing does. But clearly the object was heavy, judging from his labored breathing. And his wife had been pretty heavy – she’d looked rather like a peach in a too tight corset.

“Yo, dude, you up again?” Shit, he’s seen me. And I didn’t have my hose. I merely nod. “Your dog, right? ‘Eard her out here. You ought to nuzzle her at night.” I nod again. “Well, what’s up?”

Did you murder your wife? “Nuttin’, everything OK?” He smiles and nods. He says he doesn’t need help and I need to go back to bed. He literally flaps his hands, shooing me away. That’s cool, he clearly doesn’t want to kill me. I’m OK with that.

“Night.” We say in near unison.

6:46 am – I wake up in the kitchen, sprawled rather unbecomingly. Mom’s standing over me, frowning. “You’re sleep walking again.” No, I just like sleeping on cold tile floor. “I’ll have to gate the back door and front door then.” Yeah, because I’m just another dog. “Go to bed.” Why does everyone send me to bed like I’m 3 again?

“Yeah, right – hey, the neighbor’s wife – you know she died?” Mom nods, looking tired and mildly nuts (she takes a shitload of medicine at night for her M.S. and Lupus, so she’s never really sane to begin with). “How’d she died?”

“Dunno, a blow to the head or something. I think she fell in the shower.” Yeah, because that happens everyday.

Crap, my neighbor’s a murderer! I retire to bed, but I can’t sleep. If my neighbor’s a murderer, do I say something? I mean, he’ll probably just kill me but he was so nice to not do so earlier. Uggh, I just don’t know!

Whatever, Mom will put up the gates tomorrow and hopefully that’ll keep me away. If his wife comes back dressed like a rabbit though, I’m calling the police. I don’t want to mess with any jets or whatever Donnie deals with.