Every town has one resident crazy person. Sorry. This is not about me. I fall into a larger, more generic group of weirdos. This is about our very own Jack Nicholson from Coo Coo’s Nest. His name is Hap. He’s been drawn to me since I moved here. He’s grabbed my breast in the grocery store and screams at me in public. He cracks me up. I’ve had to tell him he was unzipped and once that the seat of his pants had ripped open. Older, more refined Church going ladies get the vapors at the mention of his name. I seek him out just to wind him up. People have begged me to stop. I can’t. I’m bored and he makes me laugh.
Hap is probably in his 80s. He’s the oldest person I know who cruises town all day. One day I was sitting on the front porch and he stopped. He told me he’d been to the doctor. “Yep, it’s cancer. Doc told me I have a month, maybe a little more.” I started crying. That was five years ago.
We were in the checkout line in the grocery store when he told the man behind him that I was the town hooker and it was half price Wednesday. In situations like that, I’ve learned it’s better not to argue with him. He just gets louder.
I finally found out where he lived and paid him a social call. He wouldn’t open the door or come outside so I loaded up his lawn furniture in front of his neighbors. They loved it. I went back to get the bird feeder and looked in the window downstairs.
OMG. I was looking through some black hole that sucked me into 1975. Gold shag carpet, crushed velvet furniture, floor pillows; there’s a big stereo by the wall and a giant console T.V.
At first I thought I was having a vision because everything looked fuzzy like a mist had engulfed the room. I looked harder. I wanted to see 1975 again and see it clearly. Then reality hit me. That was no vision. That was 40 years of dust. You’d need a hazmat suit to go in there. It looked untouched aside from layers of dust. A memorial to better times. Hap had a museum room. Makes me very curious about what else is in that house. Guess I’ll have to go back.