Space 13 has come to my unit only twice in 6 years.
The first time was about two years ago and I was impaired slightly thanks to an ice-cold gin and tonic. I was basically having a concert with a karaoke machine that I had picked up the weekend prior for 5 bucks at a “No Early Birds” yard sale.
Singing at the top of my lungs, and half way through the line “You can hear it from the people they call us, gypsies, tramps and thieves…”
Flustered, she apologizes for her late rent and then as if there was a burning fire in her belly, she starts in sharing about the Christian Revival her and her “live-in” just attended in Three Rivers, Ca.
The second visit was last night right at the effing tip-off of the Women’s NCAA Final Four Semi-Championship game. I was braless in my flannel “pj” bottoms and spaghetti strap tank. Cocktail in hand, I swing the door open with same confidence of Cher in a halter dress. Perhaps it was the fact that I had been cheering robustly and the sounds could be heard from the open kitchen window, “GO STANFORD!!!!!”
But when I flung that door open, she looked nervous.
You see, space 13 is a nervous woman.
She lives her life in service of Jesus, yet she has absolute no security in the fact that she has been “saved.” I mean if you already have a punched entry ticket to heaven, and God has a seat for you in the front row, why the hell are you a nervous wreck every damn month when you pay your rent a day or two late? If the nervousness stems from the obvious (the park manager is a lesbo) then you really have nothing to fear because remember Tina, there are no lesbians allowed in heaven.
One would think there’d be a reason for yesterday’s unannounced visit; a reason of emergency in nature; like maybe an electrical outage causing flames to her mobile or a dead possum trapped under the skirting of the abandoned unit next to hers…but no. Her reason was this:
“I heard you were moving to Idaho or Iowa, one of those places...well...Anyways, I just wanted to say good-bye.”
Hmmm… Tina. Guess you haven’t attended any 12–Step meetings to break your addiction to gossip lately. “Hi, my name is Tina and I am addicted to spreading unsubstantiated and false rumors about others and my life has become unmanageable.”
Tina is forty-something.
She and Curt moved into her mother’s robin egg blue trailer when Ida was sent to an assisted living facility in a nearby town.
She’s an adamant believer in Jesus, Hamburger Helper and sweatshirts that have teddy bear appliqués. She doesn’t hesitate to let her neighbors know
that her mother is totally crazy because of her interest in ghosts, the after-life and supernatural events. Ida's favorite author is Edgar Cayce not Paul.
Tina bites her nails to the quick and lives with Curt who is cause of much shame because Curt is still married to someone who lives out of state.
There’s a giant cloud that hangs over your head when you are a trailer park manager;
a cloud that is heavy, dark and has a big banner sticking out of its fluff that says, “Hate me. Gossip about me cuz I’m a meanie.”
Because of that, you don’t get many hellos, good-byes or invitations to family gatherings,
but I did get a call from Tommy and an invite to his annual pre-summer tri-tip shindig.
When he called, I wasn’t home but his message was straight to the point, “Hey…(slur) hey thar…(slur) it’s Tom.meee. 'how you? (slur) Say... we’re fixin (slur) to have some beer and tri-tip (slur) uhhh (slur) lil party… wull, nuthin big (chuckle) don’t ya guys worry (chuckle) thought (slur) you’d come this year (slur) give me a call.
Tri-tip isn’t my preferred protein.
Never really has been. But I can’t imagine Tommy marinating me a tofu steak.
Odd as it sounds, though…
I can’t imagine not going.
I'll bring the Keystone, Tommy.
Wishing you the satisfaction of all your impulses!