Lilac and Lime

Contrasts in colour, contrasts in life – Mary Bruce

Doing what one has to do

It’s been a few years since the junkies moved off our verge. Apparently they’d used the spot for years while our home was still a farm outbuilding and it took a bit of persuasion to make them adapt their habits once the renovation was complete and we moved in. This was accomplished largely by gardening at the top end of the property whenever they parked off and generally being a pain in the joint until they decided there had to be more peaceful climes elsewhere. I’d heard on the neighbourhood grapevine that the police were aware of their presence and planned to swoop sometime but it took so long that I gave up on Plan A and put Plan Me into action, successfully.

Kimberley had been out with friends on Saturday evening and came in at about 1am. She’d noticed a car parked on our verge and a while later voiced her concern when the music emanating from it showed no sign of abating. Until then I’d assumed the music was coming from a party on the neighbouring property. Generally I’d have muttered and fallen asleep eventually but as Kimberley’s dissertation was due to be handed in later on Sunday and the music was keeping her awake there was little choice but to take action. Anyway, the same rap music had been on loop and was becoming really annoying and the car was parked not far from our bedroom windows. So I dressed and marched carward.

Firstly I nearly knocked on the guy’s head instead of the side window because it was dark and I couldn’t see the window was open. When my eyes adjusted to the darkness I had a fright of note : the driver was slumped over the wheel and unresponsive. A couple of my friends have been affected by suicides in recent weeks and this bod looked dead. Saying “hello” at ever-increasing volumes got no response so I smacked as hard as I could repeatedly on the door. By then I could see a passenger passed out on the far side of the car, the seat so far reclined he was almost lying flat. At this point it ocurred to me that the guys might think they were being hijacked and I hoped devoutly they were unarmed. It was too late to cease and desist by then as even Kimberley had heard me from her bedroom.

On about the eighth thump the passenger came to life and sat bolt upright. I’m not sure who of us had the bigger fright and we stared at each other for a split second before I took advantage of his total bewilderment. I told them my daughter was studying and couldn’t sleep because of their music and it was well after 1am so we’d like it turned off. He apologised and did so immediately.

The stench of alcohol and who knows what else was beyond disgusting and it was only my sense of victory that stopped me from being sick on the spot. They were still there at 4am when I got up to let the dog out. but, as Kimberley had said earlier, better they slept off whatever they’d been partaking of on the verge than attempt to drive. The rest of the night passed peacefully apart from the occasional outburst from the hooter, presumably as the driver stirred. It was a freezing cold night and he must have been as stiff as a board when he finally awoke. (And I’d been worrying about him *being* one).

As with past victories, when the target mildly gives in I’m left with anti-climatic windless sails but I managed to walk jauntily back home and get to sleep eventually. Of course, if they’d retaliated it would have been a totally different matter but the smoking gun on my side of the fence was worth two smoking junkies on the other.


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