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The Lawyer

Last night while celebrating my parent’s 45th wedding anniversary, somehow we started talking about this memorable neighbor of mine. I know it seems like Christa and I have had a bunch of weird experiences, we have. I wonder if most other people have about the same percent of craziness, but they just don’t blog about them?

When I first moved to Houston many years ago, I was a newly single 23 year old woman. Christa and her ex-husband Matt were so kind to let me move in with them until I got all of my bearings sorted.

After about a year, Christa and Matt got transferred to Nova Scotia, Canada, so I had to find my own apartment. Here’s the problem, although I was thankful to have somewhere to stay, our current location was terrible for a newly single twenty something year old. We lived in the suburbs with a million families and kids. I didn’t know a lot of people and would sadly go hangout at the Barnes and Nobles. I knew I had to get out of dodge when a guy tried to pick me up in the self help section!

Christa was moving a few months after Matt and championed for me to stay in “familyville”. I told her “heck no, I’m moving to the galleria area where there are lots of young, single professionals.” I was on the hunt for a new husband and needed to be in the right location. I found an older one bedroom apartment at the Creole on the Yorktown, right near the “inner loop”. The inner loop in Houston is where all the “cool” people in Houston live, but as a school teacher, I could only afford to be on the outskirts. That was ok with me, close enough to the loop and far far away from surbia. 

It was affordable but expensive enough that you did not have a bunch of riff raft tenants. Most of my neighbors were young professionals. All but one. He didn’t seem to fit either description.
My neighbor, the LAWYER:
This middle age guy lived across the hall from me and immediately came to introduce himself. I will admit that he was a very friendly man and never hit on me in any type of way. We chit chatted for a few minutes and then I when back to unpacking. Here were a few of my first observations about said neighbor:
– He would be considered good looking from afar, but closer up he had a brown tooth.
– He had almost no furniture in his apartment after living there for awhile. I saw a couple of lawn chairs in his living room.
– He had a daughter around my age.
– He was a criminal defense attorney.
Yep, you heard me. He was a lawyer. The apartment complex wasn’t a dump by any means but I immediately thought, “you would think a middle aged attorney would have a little nicer of a place.”
Over the period of time I lived at the Creole, I had many interesting interactions with him.
A few days after I moved in he asked to borrow my vacuum because his girlfriend was coming over. Apparently they had dated for a long time. Imagine my shock when he returned my vaccum and introduced me to his girlfriend. You are probably thinking that she was a young, ditzy, big busted, semi-trashy blonde girl. Nope, to my surprise, shady, brown toothed lawyer had an age appropriate very beautiful, intelligent girlfriend, albeit she did have big boobs. How could this guy who did not own living room furniture or a vaccum cleaner and had a million burnt cigarette holes in his carpet, snag such a catch? I was confused.

Months later I ran into him at a restaurant bar called Sam’s Boat. He introduced me to a bunch of his friends and said they were celebrating his tv news appearance. I didn’t seem to understand what he meant until he pointed to the tv. Apparently he was the criminal defense attorney for someone who killed his children. This defendant committed the worst crime and nobody wanted to represent them. Nobody but my neighbor. I still remember how proud he was.

One beautiful spring afternoon I was waiting for a guy to pick me up to go on a date. He was European and I was excited about going to a festival downtown. When my date knocked on my door he had a strange expression on his face. Apparently my date almost ran over my sky high neighbor who was sitting on a lawn chair in the middle of our parking garage smoking weed. Christa and I have never done an illegal drug, but it definitely has a distinct odor.  I was so naive and could not help think how stupid this fool was to be doing illegal  drugs out in the open. 

Another wacky encounter with this shady character occurred one morning in our complex parking lot. I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. His prized 1999 Ford Mustang was sitting there a few cars away from mine on top of 4 concrete cinder blocks,missing all 4 wheels. When I later asked him about it he just shook his head, laughed, and smiled with that brown snaggle tooth. I swear, everytime he smiled he reminded me of Joe Peshi’s gold tooth in Home Alone. I asked him what happened to his tires and he slyly admitted that he suspected it was probably one of his upstanding citizens/clients, or his weed dealer. I guess he had an outstanding debt.

After many debacles with my neighbor, nothing could even come close to our final encounter. It was 2 am on a school night and I was sleeping soundly in my bed. I suddenly awoken by loud knocking on my door. I was scared. I went to the door where I coukd hear my crazy neighbor telling me he needed my help. I opened the door because I knew I was safe and that my neighbor was just a dumb ass. Seriously, there is no other way to put it.
Back to his favor. He stood in front of my door all dishelved wearing a t-shirt and plaid pajama pants. He was holding a Polaroid camera and said he needed me to take pictures. According to my neighbor, his girlfriend beat him up and he needed me to take pictures of the wounds. I was so confused because he didn’t appear to be beaten up, but went along and took the Poloraid pictures of a few tiny scratches on his arms. Seriously, you woke me up for this and you own a Poloraid camera. This was 2002 when nobody used Poloroid cameras anymore,  well nobody but my train wreck of a neighbor.

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