Well...my neighbor Al saw me cutting shit up with my chainsaw, and he came by to talk. With a cooler full of bad cheap beer. However, since it was bad, cheap FREE beer, I set my standards aside and spent the afternoon having a play date with Al. This is why I know I'm secretly a saint. Because my goal always is to spend my days off working in monastic silence on my never ending yard project. But Al slipped in under my "stay away from me" radar, and then he told me so many retired guy stories that I couldn't send him away.
I now know: He's retired from the state hospital for the last 6 years; he's a Viet Nam vet who didn't make good use for the G.I. Bill; he has a daughter with two kids from two ex-husbands and he worries about whether she'll ever make something of herself; his wife would like to meet me (I'm pretty sure that's not true, but I didn't openly scoff); he got a new bass boat, and would love it if I'd go fishing with him; he admires my ability to work outside for 12 hours a day, but he worries about my safety; he thinks I'm plucky (although he didn't actually say plucky, he told me over and over again how amazing I was).
In return, I told him: I'm gay; I dropped out of high school, but I went back and got a college education, and his daughter might too if she's inclined; I thought I could drink beer, but he wins hands down...I know when I'm beat.
He choked a little on the gay part, but bucked right up after he drank a little more. He invited me, and later Lori, to stay for barbecue...his wife's a real fine cook. By the time I managed to back away, mouthing lie after lie (I'd love to stay for another case of Miller Lite and a burger Al, but I think my girlfriend's calling me for supper. Maybe another time, okay?)
Now that me and Al are best buds, I'll have to slink around under the cover of darkness if I want to spend time alone in the yard.