I live next to a hoarder. Seriously, I now believe it is a real thing, like a disease, because this is not your run of the mill ‘stacks of papers’ ‘so hard to get through’…this is like full on cable TV reality series at your door: bonafide hoarder.
The garage so stuffed that when you open the door there is a solid wall (a wall!) of stuff. It does not shift upon the opening of the garage door because there is no air space—it is a solid block (the size of a garage) of things.
The weird thing is he is also a Dad. And has 3 sweet girls, and is, I now believe because of the humanizing of the whole thing, just doing his best with what he’s got. But it is rough. He also oddly has a parrot the size of my six-year-old in their living room and the shrieks and squawks are at a similar decibel to, I imagine, a bomb being detonated, but it happens more frequently.
So, with all of these factors in place, about four months ago I noticed that he had started leaving his 2 green debris trash barrels on the street between our houses. We spoke briefly about how we each had 2 of those barrels (one had come with the house) and how neither of us needed both, but we had them. You know, neighbor chat.
But he kept leaving them out. The rest of his trash barrels (trash and recycle) would go back and forth with the trash pick up date, but those fricking things would stay. Just stay. There, on the street. Granted, we live in a kind of funky town, so there wasn’t going to be any complaints, but it made the street look crappy. 2 trash barrels, always out there when the rest of the law abiding decent people had rolled theirs away again. And right in front of my house. Sometimes making it even a little hard to maneuver into our driveway.
I thought about moving them right back onto his property myself. Maybe he just couldn’t handle the trouble the same way he seemed incapable of sorting the garage (or having a normal pet). Maybe (I suspected) he was passive aggressively leaving them there because when we first moved in I asked him to stop parking in that little spot that is not really a parking spot between our homes.
Day in, day out, those things were there. Falling over sometimes and I would pick them up, being literally and aesthetically in the way. On trash days I would re-organize them next to my barrels, but a few days later, they would still be there.
We used to keep all our barrels on the side of the house, and started putting them in the front b/c it was easier. And I rarely put out the green barrel because it takes months before it is full with grass mowings. I have left those 2 on the side of the house for the past…well, four months.
Yesterday, I went to retrieve a lost ping pong ball and guess what!?! No trash barrels on the side of the house! Those 2 trash barrels, sitting on the street for the past four months causing me daily discomfort: MINE!!!! My trash barrels.
There is a great teaching that when we walk into a room, there are 100 things to see, but we only see the 5 that confirm what we already believe.
I feel like Grover when he realizes ‘he’s the monster at the end of this book.’
I am so embarrassed.