A few months ago, my across-the-street neighbor Bob insisted that I give him a cool nickname. "Everybody else has a cool nickname," he said, "and I'm just Bob." I objected, "No, no...you're Across-The-Street Bob." He said that wasn't good enough and suggested I refer to him henceforth and always as White Trash Bob. Who am I to argue with a man who's wired my garbage disposal, loaned me tools, bought me cups of coffee and bread pudding when the going gets tough, disconnected my doorbell, and even salvaged 1870s clapboards for me to use on the side porch? White Trash Bob it is.
Monday afternoon White Trash Bob showed up in my side yard and declared it was time to go to River Reader (the local bookstore) for a cold drink. Arguing with this man is futile, so I wrapped my paintbrush in a Wal-Mart bag and walked uptown with him. I knew he had something on his mind. In the air-conditioned comfort of River Reader, over cold cans of pop, he dropped it: "Darlin, why are you killing yourself on that house? It's still gonna be there tomorrow. You don't have to finish it by this deadline of yours. Just do what you can, when you can, and it'll all get done. Or it won't, and then you'll be a contributor to the decay of our neighborhood." That Bob, he always gives both sides of an issue.But maybe, just maybe, Bob is right. In fact, I've never known him to be wrong. Honestly. So on Tuesday I slept late, put the second coat of yellow paint on the side porch, took a nap, painted the corner pieces of the side porch green, and then went to Taco Night at The Red Dawg Saloon. And on Wednesday I contributed to the decay of our neighborhood by doing nothing. Now it's the wee hours of Thursday morning at work. We'll see how I feel 12 hours from now after I've had some sleep.