the decline of the american empire.

decorum dictates that i update you about the house next door since it’s been almost two years since i’ve written about it.

both parents moved out (he took their younger son to his partner’s pad; she moved in with her new boyfriend), leaving the house to the older son and society’s rejects. more cars appeared at night, more kids stood on the front lawn during the day, and i continued to avoid them while simultaneously hoping they would talk to me.

soon after, the house was raided, the officials leaving a list of things that had to be completed to bring the place up to code. for a few days, the kids loaded a pick-up truck with garbage bags, before retreating to the roof of the shed to smoke. one night, as i stood outside, hiding myself behind the garbage can, i watched a car slow down and then stop as it was passing the house. the older son and a friend approached through the shadows towards the front door. another car stopped before continuing its route when the older son chased after it with a baseball bat.

apparently their efforts at renovating weren’t sufficient, as a large lock appeared on the door one day. they returned once to carry off the trampoline, presumably the only item necessary for starting their new civilization. the police who visited the property advised us to call if we witnessed anything suspicious. they brought us inside to view a museum of trash and damaged furniture. the carpets were stained. clothing burst from the closet like a glutton who had eaten too much. the smell was overpowering, like a roomful of corpses that had vomited themselves to death after eating a roomful of corpses.

boards were placed over the front bedroom window and a blue tarp over most of the roof to prevent further leaking. i took a bird bath and feeder from their back yard, gifts for my dad; he took one of those gazing balls for his garden. i offered the grill to my friends but it was too rusty to be of any use. when i went to check on its condition, i found a bong sitting on its side shelf.

everything i’ve described above has taken place over the last three months. a few days ago, i discovered that the back door to the garage is unlocked, so maybe there’s a part three to this story.


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