I did something weird and useless today. It seems completely random and uninteresting, but while weed-eating, I made sure to do the neighbor’s expanse of drainage ditch as well. As odd as that sounds, it got me to thinking what an absolute asshole I am.
See, I’m actually pretty harmless. I want you to make things. I want you to be happy and succeed. Even people I dislike, to see them in financial ruin or physical distress would hurt me inside. But damn, sometimes, I just can’t help but to fuck with people.
It’s weird, but the more I thought about it the more accurate it seemed-If I find out that you feel a certain way about me, I’ll exploit it mercilessly. This is especially true in situations where I don’t care very deeply about the people involved for whatever reason.
The most blatant example of this I can think of was back in high school. My brother, a senior at the time, was dating a freshman. This girl, along with all of her friends, got it in their heads (or maybe had been told by someone, I’m not sure), that I hated them and wanted to hurt her for dating my brother. Really, it couldn’t have been farther from the truth as I hardly noticed the group in the hallways and had no feelings either way on the lot of them, but that all changed when I gained that tiny bit of info. That tasty little morsel that gave me a modicum of inconsequential power over them.
So I started to take notice of them in the hallway. I would have never picked a fight, that’s not my style, but to see them jump when I walked just a little too close, or said hi to the girlfriend, or when I stared them down. In retrospect, it was a little cruel, but the idea of me wanting to beat them up for dating my older brother was so ludicrous, so far apart from anything that actually occupied my head space, that going along with it was irresistibly funny.
This is pretty common for me. We don’t live in an HOA because I like to push rules and that wasn’t a situation I wanted to find myself in. To this day, the HS I went to still has rules on the book that were made to close loopholes that I exploited mercilessly. I’m like a little kid that gets told not to step over the line, and has to put just my toes over, just to see what happens.
So why was I nice to my neighbor? Why did I dedicate a large chunk of time to doing him a favor?
Because he doesn’t like us. It’s a really stupid reason that involves him growing copious amounts of pot directly behind my office and being crazy paranoid about it, but he stopped talking to us last year. He stopped waving. He stopped suggesting that his son and ours, a month apart, play together. Because I think he thought we tried to steal his pot one night (I’m 99% sure a cat or possum or raccoon tripped his motion sensor).
That little bit of info, though, was power. We don’t intend to stay in this house more than a few years and honestly, I couldn’t give a fuck whether he’ll talk to us or not. Just knowing that he’s busy trying to snub us makes me want to fuck with him so badly.
So today, I cleaned out his entire section of the drainage ditch. I picked up all the garbage that had collected and hauled it over to my property. The job was very thorough, and very tidy; I even cleared all the weeds from around his mailbox. When I see the neighbor, I always smile and wave. I do everything that I would do if I really, really liked my neighbor, just because maybe, if I’m lucky, it irks him and makes him feel like a dick. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.
I’m an asshole.