Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mixed Emotions (with smells)

Yesterday my doorbell rang. I live in an upstairs apartment and looked out my window to see who it was below. There was some scraggly-looking guy with an old bicycle standing out on my porch. I had no idea who he was, I didn't have any money to lend him, I didn't have a phone he could use, and I didn't want to be stabbed, so I didn't answer.

The doorbell rang again. And again. And again. Then the pounding on the front door began. Pound, pound, pound. Ringringringringring. Poundpoundpoundpoundpound. This guy was relentless and finally I was just angry and eager to tell this guy to leave me alone. I was hoping I'd get to fight. I'm not the strongest guy in the world but I can definitely beat up an old hobo.

I ran down and answered the door, interrupting him mid-pound.

"Is your name Ed?"

"Yea," I answered, and immediately I could smell...I don't know...him.

"Is your name Eddie?"


"I found this," and he hands me my old driver's license, Kroger club card, an expired debit card from a closed account, and a membership card to a video store that has since closed. I had left my money clip in my car overnight last summer and the next morning it was gone. Or at least I thought I had. Knowing me, I was never sure if I just misplaced it. Turns out someone did indeed snatch it from out of my center console where I left it.

"Oh, thanks," I said, trying to sound grateful, but I don't think it was convincing. I noticed the money clip itself and the $10 that was clipped to it were gone.

"I didn't find a wallet," he said.

"Yeah, they were just in a money clip."

"I didn't find a money clip. I found them in my yard."

And that explained the weird smell. I live on a pretty nice block, as evidenced by the picture below. Nothing fancy, but a cute little street. But, like in The 'Burbs, there's one house that doesn't fit in. This particular house is right next door and is actually a little rundown camper. I always wondered what kind of person lived in that camper and now I knew. The stereotype I had in my mind was dead on.

Apparently someone took my money clip, grabbed the cash and clip itself, and then threw the rest over the fence into this guy's yard.

A couple of hours after my stuff was returned to me I noticed my apartment reeked. You guessed it. I don't know how long this guy had my useless cards in his place, but it was long enough for them to absorb the smell of his house (camper) and pass it on to other innocent households. My belongings didn't have the smell of sitting outside in the weather; this smell was 100% man-made.

I threw everything away and lit some incense. I guess I should be more grateful to the guy but the whole thing left me with more questions than before. When he asked if I was Ed I told him yes, and then he asked if I was Eddie and I said yes again. But nothing on any of my cards says "Eddie." Why would he ask if I was Eddie? And just how long did he have my stuff? What was he doing with it?

It seems all very suspicious to me. I'm glad I'm moving soon.

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