A couple of Mondays ago, having just arrived in Indianapolis, Coleman and I spent the day unpacking our moving truck with his dad and Chris, a friend of ours. After a few hours of unloading, we stopped for a lunch break.
While eating pizza and conversing on the front porch, we were interrupted by a voice.
“BOO WANTED TO SAY HIIIIII!”
Startled, I turned around to see where the voice had come from. Standing on our front lawn was a slouchy woman with grayish-blonde hair, tiny-framed glasses, and a dachshund at the end of a long leash.
“BOO!” she screamed at the dog. “NOT YOUR HOUSE! NOT YOUR HOUSE! She thinks this is her house.”
“Ohhhh,” I nodded. We all exchanged looks. “Hi, I’m Jillian.”
She shook my extended hand. “I’m ‘Jane’,” she replied.
“It’s nice to meet–” I said, stepping back as Jane extended the dog leash so Boo could walk up the porch stairs and into our house. “–you.”
“I can tell you everything they’ve done to fix up this house since the last guys were here,” she said.
“New floors, new cabinets, new plumbing, repainted — twice — new…”
My mind drifted to other things as Jane rambled on, but I snapped back to reality when I heard her yell, “BOO! NOT YOUR HOUSE! NOT YOUR HOUSE!”
How Boo was supposed to understand it was not her house while her leash was so long it allowed her to walk all around our living room is beyond me, but WHATEV.
“So, do you live on this street?” I asked Jane.
“Yes, next door to your duplex,” she stated matter-of-factly. “There has been a ‘Dooey’ in that house since the 1960s!”
What’s a ‘Dooey’? I thought to myself. I looked at Coleman, his dad and Chris, all of whom had been stuffing their faces with pizza as to avoid getting involved in the conversation. Maybe her name is Jane Dooey?
She proceeded to tell us everything about everyone on the street. “My niece lives there. The couple in that house is gay. The house next to you belongs to a family, and they’ve restored that house to its original condition. You should have seen it before! BOO! BABY! NO BARKING! IT’S A BABY! NO BARKING! She understands when you say it’s a baby. The couple across the street owns their house, and the house next to them is owned by a man whose father owns a hardware store.
“This neighborhood has really improved over the years,” she continued. “There used to be a big party house on this block that drove us crazy. IT WAS YOUR HOUSE. The guys who lived here before you were a bunch of hooligans. So, if you ever get anyone knocking on your door that says, ‘Like, hey dude. Like, is Jeff home?’ you can say, ‘Uh, Jeff doesn’t live here anymore, dude, and if you ever come back here, like, I’ll call Jane and Boo will get you, man.'”
“Well, thanks for the information, Jane,” I said. “We’d better get back to unpacking the truck.”
“Oh sure, sure,” Jane said.
Which was the start of a 10 minute rant about how tornadoes never touch down where there is a large population of Native Americans.
Finally, she dragged Boo out of our house and back down the porch stairs. We said goodbye, and she rambled on about people not picking up after their dogs as she walked away.
“Oh!” she yelled from a couple of houses down. “I usually make brownies for the new people who move in, but I haven’t had a chance to make them for you yet.”
“Oh, that’s ok, Jane!” I said.
“Don’t worry, I will. I will. Just haven’t had a chance because Boo keeps pooping!”