when i first moved to foco i lived in an apartment next door to a man who i believe was a cannibal. if charles manson and jeffrey dahmer could have a love child....my neighbor would have been their offspring. he totally fit the profile of a serial killer... white male, mid forties...and he never left the house during the day. in fact, the only time i ever saw him was when i would come home late at night (like after midnight) and he would be outside on the patio, wearing hospital scrubs, grilling some type of meat (human?). at first i was nervous living next to this guy but one day my mom reminded me, "dont worry...the neighbor never gets whacked". (gotta love jersey mafia life lessons). from that point on i somehow felt more safe. i would come home late at night and put my key into the lock all while repeating, "the neighbor never gets whacked, the neighbor never gets whacked, the neighbor never gets whacked".
i have since moved to a new part of town and NM and i have our very own house! yay! our neighbor to the left is a widow who has lived in her house since the late 50's. she is all things that an older woman should be... funny, independent and sassy. NM and i have seen her out on the town on dates and even bumped into her at the obama rally!
our neighbors to the right however, are a completely different story (and the point of this blog). the wife of the house is nice enough...she is a stay at home mom with 4 (i think) kids and a yappy-ass dog that never shuts up. she spends most of the day chain smoking in the front yard but at least smiles when we wave. the husband of the house is.......well........how should i put it.... basically think sling blade meets deliverance meets cape fear. he is 100% sketch.
we both ended up in our respective back yards at the same time yesterday afternoon and i gently reminded him about the 3 enormous trees in his yard that are pulling down our phone line. we asked them to cut the tree branches last summer but they never did. i asked if it would be possible for them to cut them this summer and he replied with "ill ask the person in charge" (the person in charge = his mother who actually owns the house). he stared directly at me and didnt give a single warm facial gesture. his left eye was all bloodshot and i swore it was twitching (but i might be making this part up).
im writing about this today because i had a terrible dream about this guy last night. in my dream we shared a huge wooden deck that stretched from their back yard to ours. he and his racist friends were sitting at the table on our side of the deck drinking beer. they started making all types of racist and homophobic comments so i finally told them to get off of our property. he reacted very violently and then i woke up.
the possibility of being pregnant makes a dream like this even scarier. i already dont feel safe with him next door but i worry even more when i think about raising a child with him as a neighbor. NM and i are pretty discreet when it comes to public affection so for the most part it is easy for folks to forget that we are gay. but adding a child to the mix sorta ups the ante.
im not meaning to sound dramatic or to say that one day this guy is gonna grill my baby in his back yard.... im mostly just acknowledging the fact that i sometimes get scared for our child. its one thing to discriminate against me or NM but its another thing to make a child feel like they are somehow less worthy because they have 2 moms.
it is also another example of heterosexual privilege. we have a few straight friends who are expecting babies this summer and im sure they have never had to consider the way that their neighbors would treat their child simply because of who the kid has for parents. this morning while NM and i were in the back yard i mentioned building a bigger fence on that side of the yard. she asked why and i replied with, "to give us more privacy" but now that i reflect on it i feel like i am wanting to create a safe space in our yard for our family. i want to feel safe interacting with my family and not feel judged or unsafe.
in the meantime i will keep rubbing my belly and repeating, "the neighbor never gets whacked, the neighbor never gets whacked, the neighbor never gets whacked".