“He’s retard. Bonafied! I know that to be fact cause I know’d his teacher and she told me he was bonafied.”
Well goddamn. I mean I can’t stand the dude either. He’s made my dog walks hell for the last three years or so and I get what the old man is sayin’ and all, like he’s not right in the head but, geez. I mean this old buzzard didn’t even put an “A” in front of “retard”. Just straight up called Steven “retard”. Kind of harsh for a Sunday morning stroll down the block.
“Well I just wanted you to know, cause I see you’a walkin’ your puppies all the time and I see you carryin’ that stick. Lemme see that a minute…”
I hand the old dude my stick, well really it’s one of those wooden poles used to hang clothes from in a closet. I like it because it’s long, light and smooth. I’ve tried actual sticks but they just feel awkward. It’s because of Steven that I started carrying it in the first place.
“Yeah, you won’t last a second with those two vicious dogs of his. This fuckin’ thing’ll snap right in two and they’ll be all over that little’n of yours. You should’a seen what they just did to this dude who lives here. He was walking with his two little dogs and that idiot came out with those two big ass dogs just’a draggin’ him down the street. Fella who lives here had to take of runnin’ cuz that bonafied moron couldn’t barely control them dogs, they was just about to get away.”
Steven isn’t right in the head, we all know that. When my husband and I first moved in 10 years ago he was probably about 17 and would come over and talk in the driveway sometimes. That quickly escalated into him just walking up in our crib without so much as an attempt at knocking. After we screamed at him and flipped him off a few times, the message got through, he stopped coming over and I could peacefully hit the streets with my mutts without driveway chats about “I.C.P.” or whatever horrible music he was listening to.
Then a while ago, Steven found a stray German Shepherd that had been abused. He named it Daisy, nursed it back to health and nurtured all of its insecurities. After that, pretty much every single time it encountered another dog, Daisy went to Psycho Town. What does Steven do when she’s trying to murder his fellow neighbors? He pets her and says “There, there girl.” You bet. So I guess, since that was going so well, Steven decided to rescue a giant Pit bull and have both of them walk him together. It literally looks like he’s being pulled down the street by plow horses. He’s gotten dog trainers, I’ve seen them working over there but it’s him. He just doesn’t have the cognitive capacity to take charge of such powerful animals.
“Hey you don’t have to convince me.” I told the old man. “I’ve spent the last few years of my life being startled by that Shepherd since Steven never looks to see if I’m coming down my driveway before he comes out his front door. The thing just goes totally nuts and scares the crap out of me. Now that he has the other one, I say a prayer before I come down my driveway every time that he won’t come out.”
To be perfectly honest, I’ve pissed myself several times. For real. I also slipped on an acorn once and rolled down the driveway like a goddamn beer barrel. My dog’s extend-o leash flew out of my hand and was dragging after her, she was running in terror, it totally sucked. And it’s because Steven is brain challenged that I haven’t made a bigger deal out of it. Plus his parents are like disabled or something and they’re dealing with his loopy ass, it’s just a messed up situation.
“Well that’s horseshit” said the geezer. “Lemme tell you something, I served in Vietnam. I was a pilot, I taught pilots, hell I wrote the goddamn Top Gun program. You ever see that movie “Top Gun? With Tom Cruise?”
“Yeah well I wrote the manual, developed the protocols, ya hear me?”
“Wow” I gasp, all the while feeling like the chance of his proclamation being nonsense is probably somewhere around eighty percent. Especially the way he’s getting all amped up, staring deeply into my eyes like he really wants me to be impressed. It starts to feel too intense so I glance down at my dogs who generally seem uninterested as well.
“Anyways, I’m a smart man. Ya hear me? And I got into it with the retard about a month ago. He said I better back off or he’d put his “G” dog on me. I told that little stupid shit if that dog comes at me, I’ll put his ass in a fuckin’ hold and choke him out. You see these biceps?”
He flexes. I nod again.
“Hey I might be old but I’m still tough as shit. I’ll kill that retard and those dogs.”
The old man is now officially added to the list of things I will try to avoid on my street but still… he continues.
“Hey did you ever see “Debbie Does Dallas?”
“Well that couple ya’ll bought your house off of, you remember the wife? The brunette with the perky little boobs?”
I’m not even nodding anymore but he keeps going.
“Well I didn’t know until after they moved that she was doing all of Snellville. Everybody on this whole fucking block but me.”
Now it’s just creepy.
“Well, I mean I don’t know what to do about Steven.” I inched away a bit more, hoping my seed of redirection would take root and this old perv would get back in his truck and keep going the three more driveway’s to his place. Luckily, Jim comes outside to further Steven bash and expound on his most recent run in. I commiserate then fade out into the horizon as they continue their plotting.
I hate Steven but I would never just call him “retard”. He loves those dogs and he saved them from the death. Well, actually his parents made all that possible since they take care of him and always will, but still, I’ve never thought of him as evil. That old man though, he doesn’t seem like a very good person at all. If the dogs do attack someone, he’d be as good as anybody I guess.