My neighbor is watching me again. He’s pointing from across the street, wagging his finger, and blabbing to his friend. I know he has a camera in one of his upstairs windows, overlooking the city in my backyard. Probably loads videos on YouTube, too. Freak. I should charge him for the privilege.
Does he think I like having an army of Lilliputians living behind the house?
My therapist suggested a hobby to help me relieve stress. Something simple. I thought about the train set in my basement as a kid and built a model village—that’s all. I loved those trains, sitting and watching the black engine whir around the long figure eight track. That was relaxing.
I put up the little houses, cobbled together some scraps of balsa wood into little shacks, and the next thing I know, Sparkles, my schnauzer, won’t go outside anymore because of the little people. Seriously, I go to bed one night and in the morning, wham, I have a full population. They popped up like mushrooms. I need to find a new house. Stupid market had to slump right when those little freaks moved into my backyard. Nobody invited them. Damn dog is a pansy, anyway.
My therapist said I have too much pent up anger, too much hate. Well, Doctor Chediak doesn’t have little people in his backyard putting up billboards with his face on them.
This all started when Gail moved out last year. Said I was “too moody” and “too aloof”. How can a guy be both? Either I’m a frozen steak or hot skillet, but I can’t be both. We used to go mushroom hunting in the summer, digging around under trees, in wet, shady groves. Gail had a special place, a secret place where we’d always find a whole bag full of morels. The best ones were about as tall as the little people; she’d slice them and fry them. I hated the way the mud got under my fingernails, but I loved Gail. Those mushrooms were tasty, too.
I miss her.
College boy over there has probably been snooping for months. I hope the little people give him a good show. I hope I give him a good show when I come home from the office, ripe with frustration because Mary Ruth, our overpaid receptionist, poked out her garish lips and fired some sarcasm at me. Somebody needs to let her know that fire engine red isn’t her shade. Those are the nights I really miss Gail. Those are the nights I get really angry.
The thing is, they never run. I think the little people know what’s coming—they know I’m going to crush a few of them—but they don’t run. That burns me, really boils my juices. I hate how passive they are, how they just take it. Fight back, you little weirdos!
I hate watching them the next day, when they have their little funerals. I almost feel sorry.
I hate that they’ve made Sparkles into such a wimp.
Most of all, I hate the way their blood dries under my nails.