When I lived on Miami's South Beach, the balcony of my apartment was directly across from the front door of a small-time drug dealer and right next to the orthodox synagogue. It was a period of deep contrast in my life.
The dealer, a kind of doughy-fat white guy, made it about a year in that apartment before his arrest, largely because he was a passably nice enough guy and all the neighbors (just like me) looked the other way. Late-night pickups, deliveries - even the iron grate on the front door with a hole just small enough to fit a hand through - went unreported. Why? We were afraid of one of his friends, who always made it a point to behave in a threatening way whenever he stopped by. That guy was just scary, and no one wanted to get in his way.
I've had that feeling here lately. Like I'm being watched.
And if things don't go the way some people want them to,
There will be consequences.
And there are other threats. This thug watches us through the trees.
Apparently frustrated by the lack of cherries over in the orchard, he mauls my swim noodles and poops out my beach floatie toys. He checked out the bird feeder last night and then headed over to the neighbors' deck to lick their barbecue.
Are they working together? It's hard to know. Being the handy type, I always keep a tub of plaster-of-paris around. I'm waiting for these footprint molds to set as we speak. They won't be great - I need to get some alginate mold for that - but at least I tried.
What's bothering me is the feeder is right next to our front door. Which means "The Dude" (as we call him) is becoming "habituated" and as a consequence - much more dangerous than a bear who is scared of humans and tries to avoid them. That never ending supply of orchard apples and cherries probably has something to do with it. He's hooked.