Ugh. Grossly hungover this morning, and I blame it all on my new neighbor. I forget his name; Batsby? Getsby? Appleby? I’ll concede that he throws a great housewarming party, but the man’s dumber than the stars of a Girls Gone Wild video.
I only spoke to him briefly. Thank god for that. I was trying to balance three Old Fashioneds and a plate of club sandwiches when I encountered a nebbish little fellow that I assumed to be the butler.
“You there,” I said to him. “Hold my food so I can suck down these drinks. And be quick about it.”
He fixed me with a bemused look, but refused to budge. “The name’s [Bartleby?]. Welcome to my party.”
“Oh,” I said, not the least bit embarrassed. “Oswald Carver, your neighbor. Am I supposed to be impressed?”
He sighed wistfully, and looked across the swimming pool at a rather attractive piece of ass who was talking to a small group of people. I set my sandwiches down on a nearby deck chair so as to attend to my Old Fashioneds.
“No,” he said. “But I sure hope she is.”
“Her?” I said, gulping down the first one. “Why?”
“Why?” he echoed, before pausing dramatically: “Because I love her!”
“Oh, for the love of — don’t tell me you’re hung up on some woman. There are, after all, two top-rate whore houses in this town. And their girls are clean, trust me. No need for such theatrics.”
But my neighbor simply shook his head sadly. “You have no idea. All of this?” he said, gesturing at the surroundings. “All for her. All in hopes that she… that she… that she might love me again!”
“Sweet Jesus,” I said, downing the second cocktail. “What are you, 15?”
My host smiled thinly. “I had her once, you know. When I was a younger man. Before I was rich! I had her love before I had wealth. And everything — everything! — in my life since then has been prelude to the day when I shall hold her in my arms again!”
“Good god, man, calm down.”
“I am calm,” he hissed.
“Whatever. Look, not that it’s any of my business, but it sounds to me like you’ve traded up. What will a woman’s love get you, save a bed devoid of variety and days filled with nagging? It certainly won’t afford you the finer things in life. The good stuff costs money.”
“Money?” he said, frantically. “Her voice is full of money! Full of money, I say! Ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
My neighbor then collapsed to the ground, so I finished the last Old Fashioned and turned my attention to the club sandwiches. Needless to say, I’ll be going out of my way to avoid what’s-his-name in the future. Sad sacks like him always come to a bad end, and I don’t want to be there when he inevitably winds up floating face-down in his own swimming pool, borne back ceaselessly into the pump.