As I struggle to integrate into my new 'hood, I am still encountering , and creating, a fair bit of culture shock. The quiet and picturesque street lined with one hundred year oak trees is fine by me, but it's a little too quiet.
My recent lapse from the internet had me going a little stir crazy, and all the Volvo driving neighbors seemed to be slightly alarmed at the shadowy figure lurking the alley, drinking a beer. They nervously give me perfunctory waves as they roll by, barely hiding their disdain and discomfort, alarmed by my leather jacket.
This, of course amuses me to no end. Little do they realize that I am barely in idle, and if I were to slam it into fourth gear, as it were, they would be absolutely terrified. I am trying to keep it low key, but the sight of a dude in full greaser regalia toting a bag with a quart of milk seems to disorient the squares. Hell, even greasers need milk for their coffee.
As I go about my daily business, the neighbors don't seem to see the humor as I tell a barking dog " Shaddap, I keel you!" Same goes for the myriad of crows that plague our street. I drink beer in the alley and curse at them as I toss small rocks at them. "I will kill you all ! " I powerlessly curse at the crows. Those fuckers just caw louder as they mock me. This is the point when most neighbors just draw their curtains and contemplate calling the cops.
As the inaugural firing up of the stereo had taught me last week, excessive decibel levels are not welcome in this house. Old wood-framed houses have a tendency to transmit both low and high frequencies with alarming accuracy, so a reduction in volume became a necessity. Although I lament the pathetically low listening levels to which I am now relegated, I know that all that twangy music is still a cause for consternation for my neighbors.
Needing to rehearse for an upcoming show, I was unable to wail at appropriate levels inside the house. I just grabbed my guitar and a few beers and went into the backyard and let it it rip. The slightly cold and damp weather was leaving my fingers numb, but it was liberating to feel unrestrained and belt a few tunes at 105 dB. The cops that eventually showed up seemed to disagree. After convincing them that I wasn't some hobo in the alley, they suggested in no uncertain terms that I should get back inside and maybe "sell that damned guitar". Plus ca change.
I am still amazed, that in this day and age, that a well placed curse word can still raise eyebrows. Unless I am at a funeral or something equally as uncomfortable, I am oblivious to cursing. When the denizen of my street ask me a question, the casual responses of , " I had a good fuckin' day" or "That was a long fuckin' drive" or " I saw some real stupid motherfuckers", are usually met with shocked reactions and bewildered expressions. That just the way I talk; I mean that's just the fuckin' way I talk, now quit bustin' my fuckin' chops.
I am unwilling to tone down my vocabulary to accommodate squares: A good fuckin' time is just that: A good fuckin' time. I did not enjoy a pleasant evening in the company of my comrades at arms, squares; I had a fuckin' blast with my buddies.
As the aforementioned blast came to an end last nite, I arrived home thanks to a gracious ride from a friend, accompanied with the rumblings of a well-tuned V-8 flathead and it's harmonious output. That caused a few lights to be turned on along with nervous gazes through parted curtains.
As I had a nightcap, the furious beer belches accompanied by triumphant shouts of "woo-hoo" seemed to have half the street launched into a state of commotion.
As I continue my thinly veiled attempt at so-called civilized behavior, the neighbors will eventually have to come to terms that there is a greaseball in the 'hood and that they will hear the strains of Rockabilly emanating from my backyard. There will be beer. hot rods and many scowls from me, with the tacitly implied universal body language that says." Whut'er yew lookin' at?"