There is a hoarder who lives in my neighborhood up on a cul de sac in a Halloween house. The front yard is leaf strewn, there is a dead oak tree whacked over scythe-like and an empty stained fountain in the back where either Neptune, Apollo, or Cupid have half a head and one arm. Once I peered in the font and only saw wet leaves and a balled up plastic sac – no clues.
Dear Reader, I cannot prove she is a hoarder, but she must be. The house is messy and she seems so strange. Hoarding is the perfect explanation.
I actually know who the woman is. I’ve seen her at Food Lion and Martin’s. She’s about my age though her hair sticks out more and she doesn’t dye hers. She’s always staring dead ahead. Once I wanted to peek in her cart, but even I have my limits so I busied myself in the ice cream section and then went to read People instead.
A few times I’ve seen a Boo Radley-ish man working in her yard. Don’t think he lives there because after a fashion his beat up gold car just ups and disappears for a few weeks. Once I saw the woman manhandling a bag of potting soil down the driveway though I’ve never seen any flowers.
When I walk by her house, I look up at the window. There is usually a light on. Her dark blue van is parked out front. I wonder why she doesn’t come out much, why her neighbors call her peculiar and no one seems to know much about her? Mark my words some man played a role in this story somehow.
What does she do all day? Talk on the phone? Watch TV? Cruise the Net? Clean? Eat chocolate? Stew? Cry? Look at old pictures? What if she’s stealing people’s identities? What if she’s peering in my windows at night?
If I get up really early in the morning, about the time my cats demand to be fed, and I drive over, slink up the hill, stand on the cement block and peer in a window what will I see? I bet I’d see a disheveled woman in an old blue fuzzy robe and she’d be sitting on the sofa and drinking a big mug of coffee. She’s petting a cat and she’s looking kind of irritated, but hey! Let’s be fair. That’s what I look like in the morning.
If we had a cup of tea together or went down to the neighborhood coffee shop for cappuccinos and paninis would we have a lot to talk about? Perhaps she’s a great reader. Or has a sense of humor. Or knows a lot about orchids. Maybe she lived in India when she was younger!
To be honest, none of this is true. Made the whole darn thing up. I don’t know any hoarders. I didn’t want to go out today and interview someone about the settlement between Amazon and Hachette or wax eloquent about a book I’m reading. So I took a trip in my head. The part about the lady in the blue robe is true, however. I swear.