Sunday, September 07, 2008

We Have New Neighbors

Originally uploaded by katzeye

We have new neighbors. The lady friends moved out and Malibu Ken and Barbie moved in. This wouldn’t be a problem, really, except that their deck is directly alongside Mark’s office slider and my office window. Here, at the beach, we really mean it when we say their deck is right directly alongside, as in, we could reach out and touch the railing of their deck from the edge of our miniscule balcony.

So, by now you are probably thinking, “Oh, and they like to party, right?”

Well, yeah. But we’re not talking about every Friday and/or Saturday night there is a raucous and noisy party right there by our offices. They’ve actually, so far, been pretty considerate about not doing partying late into the night.

How do I explain this? It’s as if they are on permanent vacation and wanting to make every moment vacation worthy.

So, they wander out onto their deck, (which, by the way, IS their living room, dining room and rec room all rolled into one), in the late mornings, stretching and yawning and emptying the coolers of water and clearing out the beer and wine bottles from the day/night before. And it is this deck that is so prominent in our lives these days. It is our view from all south facing windows (all but one of our windows!). Then they go shopping, or to the beach, or to get more food and beer, or, most likely, they stretch out in their various deck furniture in her bikini and his swim shorts, and read their mags, or play some game where they lean over and make little clicking sounds for hours on end (Backgammon? Checkers?)

She has high-maintenance chunky blonde highlights, always artfully arranged, and he just sits around with his hair slicked back like it’s Miami. He may have a diamond pinky ring, but I haven’t looked that closely. I don’t think I have ever seen him in anything but a swimsuit. I see her in her bikini all day long, day after day. She slips on a little shift to go get food and beer. I don’t think I would recognize them clothed.

So, they mostly just hang out there on the deck, ALL THE TIME. From the time they wake up, until the sun is long gone, and sometimes later.

I am pretty sure that they are Malibu Ken and Barbie. I think there may be a pink convertible down on the street somewhere.

I don’t think either of them has a job.

Maybe they are on a two-week vacation. I know they are not honeymooning because we heard the downstairs neighbor telling us that a guy in his thirties rented the place. She didn’t say a couple rented it. Maybe in another few days they will both go back to jobs.

I sure hope so, because so far, it has been nothing but lounging around in swim attire, wine glasses in hand. They have outfitted the deck with a rattan bar, and various drinking stations. There are tropical plant and skulls leaning menacingly toward Mark’s office window. There are many red candle lanterns and every night, seriously, every night , around 5 PM, those get lit and start to flicker just to make the evening lounging around more special than the daily lounging around.

As I pass a window, I see them there. Her hair upswept, her bikini accenting her tan, daintily holding a wine glass. I see him leaning over and wolfing down food, that seems to mysteriously appear.

Friends come to see them at all hours of the day and night, and they come up the stairs and say, “wassup?” and “washappenin, man?” And they always, each, are carrying a 12 pack.

Their music is generic rock, and so close to what one might hear in an elevator that my ears nearly bleed, and I have to turn on my itunes to drown out their sounds before that happens. They are considerate in that they don’t play it loud, but sometimes what really makes you insane is hearing a constant buzz of low volume generic rock. Background music. Save me.

Then there are their conversations which seem to be limited to what do you want to do today, or, “you can’t do that!” when there is an illegal board game move. I did hear one friend talk about how her boyfriend had to start paying the rent for someone in their apartment who was being a slacker.

As the evening approaches, I see them sitting again, leaning into the candlelight. They don’t talk much, unless friends visit. Left alone, she mostly looks at him and poses. Yes, poses. I see her lean this way and that, and one night, when the candles were flickering, I saw her arrange a kind of shawl wrap about her bare shoulders, and make the kind of expression that one might make if it was the end of the movie when the protagonist is remembering what she learned from her bad experience with the guy who wasn’t right for her.

I am hoping with all my heart that eventually they will have jobs to go to, and that they will eventually begin to lead more normal kinds of lives; lives that require actual attire.

If that doesn’t ever happen, I will have to find a way to cope:

1-I could just pretend that it really is Malibu Barbie and Ken, and just try to deal with having that show going on at my window when I am trying to work.

2-I could move.

3-I could decide that maybe Mark and I could be more like Malibu Barbie and Ken, take some time off, and sit around all day in swim attire, sipping cold beverages and playing board games while posing by flickering candlelight.

4-I could pretend that I am in a Twilight Zone episode, and as soon as I figure out what the theme is, maybe everything will return to normal.

5- I could hope that they will start to fight and throw things at each other. Hey, if they are going to seem like they are in the next room couldn’t they at least be entertaining? And besides, if they break up, they may move.

It would totally be another thing, entirely, if they just got into their swimsuits once a day, and sat on their deck for an hour or so, per day, while leading normal lives. But it’s that they are ALWAYS on their deck. LIVING on their deck. And their deck is a resort and bar and they are on vacation, ALWAYS.

It’s just that this is in our faces, 24x7.

I know it may sound like I am making too big of a deal out of this, but their voices and their “music” fills my office, daily, all day long, and the window, right there, in my office nearly fills the entire wall. This is as if I have Ken and Barbie and their friends (Skipper? Tad?) right here, in my office, where I am trying to work, laughing and sipping beer and wine in bikinis and shorts, in my office.

Mark says that eventually it will get cold and they will have to go inside. I suspect that they will still be out there, being Ken and Barbie, every day, they will just put some stylish cover-ups on over their swim attire. They’ll add a palm frond cover to the deck to keep the rain from putting out the candles.

But, I may not notice since I will have been admitted to the asylum by then!