ARTICLE: HX my interview with liza minnelli. yes, liza minnelli. to read the story: click on this link; log into the site; then come back and click on this link again, and you'll be brought to the right page.
I have this post to write that I thought would be funny, but it's somewhat sad.
Long long ago, I wrote posts about the crazy guy who lives in my building, an elderly man who shuffles around talking about going to the beach with hot girls, when in fact he barely makes it out of our front gate. The other residents of the building and I keep an eye on him, and make sure he's doing alright. Although no one has ever been inside his actual apartment. The shutters are always drawn, the doors are always closed. It's a big mystery, that place, and we've all been dying to get in and see what it is like.
"GOOD. ME TOO," he shout-said. "NOW I HAVE SOMEONE TO WALK WITH."
So we walked. I tried to walk that slow, but I literally couldn't move at his pace without wobbling around. So I'd take a few steps, and stop and wait.
"IT'S SUCH A NICE NIGHT."
"Yes it is."
"AT NIGHT IT'S NOT AS HOT."
"No, it's much nicer."
"ARE YOU GOING TO WORK IN THE GARDEN TONIGHT?"
We have a bright street lamp in front of our building, which illuminates the entire yard. So to avoid the heat, I work on things at night, digging weeds and planting new plants and watering, etc. Since I work at night, I usually start outside by 12:30 or 1. And yes, that's a.m. time.
"I don't know," I said. "Maybe."
"YOU'RE ALWAYS OUT THERE, DIGGING AWAY," he said. And he was silent. "I LIKE YOUR NEW FLOWERS."
"Yes." I didn't tell him they were blue because I bought the wrong seeds. The flowers were supposed to be red. The blue matched...nothing.
"THEY'RE VERY PRETTY."
"Yes they are."
"DID YOU SEE THE OLD MAN TODAY?"
(Um, this is Miami Beach.) "Which one?"
"NEXT DOOR. HE SITS IN THE CHAIR."
"SOMEONE COLORED HIS HAIR," he said. "IT'S BLUE."
"HE LOOKS LIKE AN OLD LADY." And he laughed. "HE WAS WALKING AROUND IN CIRCLES IN HIS YARD. I TRIED TO SAY 'HI' BUT HE JUST SAID 'GO AWAY.'"
"That was rude."
"I DON'T THINK THE ELEVATOR GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP FLOOR." He shook his head. "I THINK THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIM."
"AT LEAST I ADMIT WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME."
At last! I was going to finally find out... "What do you mean?"
"I HAVE PARKINSON'S."
"What is Parkinson's?"
"IT DETERIORIATES THE NERVOUS SYSTEM," he said. "AND IT MESSES WITH THE FLUID IN YOUR BRAIN."
"SO IT MAKES IT HARD FOR ME TO WALK. THERE'S NO CURE FOR IT."
"BUT I'M ON MEDICATION SO IT'S OKAY FOR NOW. I HAVE A GOOD DOCTOR."
"MY WIFE USED TO HELP ME WITH THINGS, WITH HER IT WASN'T SO BAD. BUT SHE DIED."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were married."
"I WAS." He paused. "SHE WAS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN."
"If she married you, I bet she was," I said. "You seem to have a way with the ladies."
"I STILL HAVE SOME TRICKS."
Fifteen minutes along a three-minute walk, and we arrived at our building. "Here we are," I said, as I prepared to dart into the bathroom.
"THANK YOU FOR WALKING WITH ME."
"Sure, my pleasure."
"I'M SORRY IF I SLOWED YOU DOWN."
"That's okay," I said as I shrugged. "I need a reason to slow down once in a while."
"LOOK AT THIS GARDEN. SO BEAUTIFUL."
"It's alright, it's getting better."
"ARE YOU GOING TO WORK ON IT TONIGHT?"
"I don't know," I said. And I looked at the errant blue flowers. I still had some seeds..."Y'know, I think maybe, I will."
And he chuckled. "IT'S FUNNY," he said. "YOU'RE OUT HERE AT ONE IN THE MORNING DIGGING IN THE DIRT. AND PEOPLE THINK I'M THE ONE WHO IS CRAZY."
I'd like to take this time to introduce you to my neighbors.
We've all met the original Crazy Neighbor, who lives in a world completely contained in his own head. He's fantastically nice, and we've become quite friendly over the days, while I dig around in our building's front garden (I'm growing bouganvilla!) and he compliments me on how nice it looks. Too bad the only thing currently growing is a patch of weeds. But the weeds are green and he thinks they belong there.
Crazy Neighbor is good friends with a lady who lives next door, whose name I haven't yet learned. She always seems to have rollers in her hair, in preparation for attending an outing which I wonder if she's ever made it to?... I have never seen her without the rollers. Perhaps she wears them all the time, just in case she needs to get ready. She has a head start. This lovely lady is the proud owner of a Miniature Pinscher named "Freaky," whose name is a result of his unfortunate case of schitzophrenia--Freaky stands in the middle of the yard, sniffing the air, and then suddenly turns to attack nearby shadows, barking and snarling. God help you if you approach Freaky, it will ruin his day AND yours. Although for some reason, he likes sniffing my feet. Do my feet really have that interesting a scent? That worries me a little.
I'm sure you ALL are familiar with Mr. Clucky, who lives down the next block. He's very a famous chicken, you know. (Excuse me, ROOSTER.)
Mr. Clucky can often be found lounging about on Lincoln Road with his owner, watching passers-by and basking in their praise of his impeccable white feathers. Mr. Clucky also likes to stand on the handlebars of his owner's bike, and ride around the block with his wings outstretched. It actually makes me a little sad, as if he knows he can't fly and he craves the sensation of the wind beneath his wings. Or maybe he's just a stupid bird? Don't say that to his owner, however, who claims Mr. Clucky can speak--and carry on conversations. As in, speak words. His owner has long colorful stories of conversations he's had with Mr. Clucky, and he'll be happy to tell you them all in great detail, should you have the time to kill. I, for whatever it's worth, have not yet been treated to any of Mr. Clucky's loquaciousness, other than the typical crowing. But every time we meet, I give it another shot. Perhaps Mr. Clucky is just shy.
Down two blocks, you'll find Mickey Rourke.
Mickey lives in a condo with a nice pool, where I like to lay out from time to time. Mikey is a surprisingly pleasant guy, who is quick to share his Heinekens. Unfortunately, he landed himself in hot water with the condo board, when he insisted on parking his Vespa on the sidewalk by the front door, instead of the parking garage.
The condo board had his Vespa towed. Take THAT, "Marv."
Mickey Rourke was not happy about that. He's moving. But the condo board is happy to see him go, as his windows are all blocked out by aluminum foil. Spooky. Whatever, he was nice to me. Too bad I'll have to get my Heinekens from somewhere else.
Fun Fact about Mickey Rourke: he has been protesting a pet store up the road--he bought a puppy as a gift for a friend, but it died a few days later of some disease. So he marches in front of it from time to time, telling people not to buy puppies there because it's a puppy mill. Who knew he was such an animal lover? Go to the pet store, you might see him, causing a ruckus. He has a soft spot in my heart for that.
And around the corner...we have Miss Tiffany.
(click to enlarge)
Miss Tiffany, while not as famous as Mr. Clucky, is a sensation. Never will you meet a lady with such poise and graciousness, always a kiss on the cheek in greeting and a compliment on your outfit. Nor will you meet a "lady" who can so effortlessly snap you like a twig--Miss Tiffany is approximately 7 feet tall, not including the wig. She is the favored door host amongst the clubs in town, not only for her sparkling personality and elegant application of cosmetics, but also for general intimidation factor. We love Miss Tiffany. I'm so lucky we live around the corner from each other. It's nice to know I have a neighbor who would gladly share a cup of sugar, should I need it...or the biggest pair of high heels you've ever seen.
So that's my neighborhood. I live with a drag queen, a chicken (excuse me, a ROOSTER), and a bunch of crazy people who entertain themselves with visions in their heads. I love it here. Come for a visit.
One of my neighbors is this old man who takes walks every night at midnight. His steps are so tiny and he walks so slow, it takes him about 2 hours to make it around the block. And he drags his left leg, his walk making a clomp-shhhhh, clomp-shhhhh sound. clomp-shhhhh, clomp-shhhhh.
Sometimes he wears a military hat, presumably earned from some past war. I like to think he limps because of a war injury, rather than a stroke or other pedestrian scenario. Hopefully there's a good story at least.
Last night, as I walked past him shuffling into the gate at 1:45 AM, he smiled. "I WAS DOWN ON LINCOLN ROAD!" he said. Everything he says, he takes a deep breath and strains his voice with the words. "IT'S SUCH A NICE PLACE. I GOT TO BUY DRINKS FOR SOME PRETTY LADIES."
Lincoln Road was the other way than from where he was walking, I'm afraid. Oh well. "That sounds good," I said, and I held the gate while he walked through. clomp-shhhhh, clomp-shhhhh, clomp-shhhhh.
Every night, he takes his walk. Same loop, right around the block. And for him, it's an evening filled with endless adventures.
It must be fun, partying with all the pretty girls in his head. He seems to enjoy himself, he smiles a lot. Perhaps he'll invite all those ladies over for Thanksgiving.