Yesterday I had a blast from the past. In the late 1990's during my tenure at Oglebay Village, I had a neighbor on the opposite end of my 6 unit apt. complex. I'll refrain from mentioning his name due to the sensitive nature of this post. This moron would constantly be working on his broken down car. The car functioned for maybe 8 days out of an entire year. Not the most efficient way to spend ones time. But he'd always be out there tinkering with it. Oil stains reminiscent of the Caspian Sea were a constant eyesore. He would commit to battle with an abundance of cheap cat litter, but usually fail miserably. In fact, the car itself, was an assemblage of different parts. I think it was a Mitsubishi Eclipse.
This guy, let's call him Jambalaya, fell in love with an attractive neighbor, which infuriated her live-in boyfriend. Jambalaya (he's not black, but a rather diminutive, slightly elfish white man) would always try to get her attention. Whether it be trying to trying to strike up a conversation on the way to the laundry room or asking her for a stick of margarine.
Jambalaya's apartment was almost entirely barren with the exception of a few chairs, a 19" tv and a stereo system. He'd often crank up the stereo and pretty much annoy the living fuck out of everyone. The same kinds of tunes over and over. Stuff like AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long, Foghat - Slowride, and newer Aerosmith were his usual selections. You see.
Jambalaya would have occasional run-ins with the police. Basically, he would drunkenly call 911 about once a month threatening to kill himself. Then, he'd take a bunch of pills. The cops would show up but couldn't get in the apartment because the door was locked and he was passed out. Sometimes, they'd have to call the landlady and get her to open up the door. Regrettably, this became routine - kind of like Andy Dufrane getting prison raped in Shawshank Redemption. My neighbor Dunkle and I would refer to Jambalaya as "suicide man." In fact, most everyone would refer to him as suicide man. A bit morbid perhaps, but there was always some degree of confusion as to what exactly his name was. Kind of like not knowing whether a guy is named Ronald or Donald, so everyone calls him McDonalds.
Anyway, yesterday I was at a dive bar downtown and saw this moron out of the corner of my eye. It had been almost a decade. We did not make speak or even make eye contact but it did evoke an extremely fond memory. Allow me to take this stroll. I beg of you...
My neighbor Dunkle and I would play a great deal of foosball. We'd make up lots of names for a wide variety of shots (Longshanks, I-70, patent, Ching Wa, R&D, Stinkface, - the list is truly endless and many of these terms are still widely used to this day). One day, after a stunning come-from-behind victory, Dunkle began to dance around the foosball table while singing "Two suicide men go round the outside, round the outside." This was a particularly joyous song and dance - he ripped off the Eminem song that starts off "Two trailer park girls go round the outside, round the outside." For a brief moment, I was overcome with emotion as we linked arms in some kind of Oglebay Village Boot, Scoot and Boogie Hoe-down. Ohh, we celebrated like liberated Iraqis witnessing the destruction of Saddam's statue.
Just goes to show you how precious life is and even if you don't think your life has any merit, you might not truly understand the impact you have on others. "Two suicide men go round the outside, round the outside." Indeed, they certainly do. From this day forth, whenever I eat Jambalaya, see a broken down Eclipse or hear that shitty Foghat song, I'll reflect on Suicide Man and think wonderful thoughts.