Mr. Bill, who lives across the street, has adopted Robby. The two friends have spent countless hours toiling in the dirt, building and fixing things, and talking. Their bond is strong, and I think that they fill a void in each other.
Unfortunately, an elderly woman who has obviously lost touch with reality lives next to Mr. Bill. In many ways she is the polar opposite of Mr. Bill. I've tried to be nice only to have her call Child Protective services to report me for having a dirty little boy. Yes, he is often dirty when he plays outside; he's a boy and he loves digging in the dirt!
Ever since that encounter I have remained cordial whenever we cross paths simply because I can't bring myself to be rude to a woman in her 90's. The reality remains that "the old lady" should not be living in that house by herself. Her children, for whatever reason, have limited contact with her and as far as I can see do not provide for her care. Pleas with various social service and aging agencies have gone unanswered. It goes against every instinct not to bring her meals, drive her to the doctor, and help with her yard work. However, all of those good deeds have been returned in kind by her calling the authorities on whoever extended the kindness.
Last summer Mr. Bill mowed her yard. She lodged at least 22 complaints against him, each one necessitating a visit by the police. There were days when the police were at his house two or three times. I teased him by saying that they simply wanted the lemonade and Oreos that he offers each guest.
"The Old Lady" seems to go on sprees when choosing which neighbor she is going to vilify. Predicting which driveway the police cruiser will turn down has become a bit of a game for the residents of our street. For awhile she professed her pity for the "sweet young girl without a leg." I was rarely in target of her accusations simply because I had a prosthetic. I was okay with that and never went out of my way to prove my abilities or to change her perceptions. Unfortunately, lately the cruiser has been turning down our driveway.
The complaints range from the deranged to the idiotic. I have been accused of playing my "blasted rock and roll" too loud. Both Robby and I have been accused of urinating in her yard. When Bill was in New York visiting his daughter, I was accused of poisoning him and hiding his body in my shed. I guess it didn't matter that I don't have a shed.
Yesterday afternoon the police cruiser, a fixture in our quiet neighborhood, pulled into mydriveway again. I no longer wait to hear their explanation for the visit. I simply opened the door and said, "What did she say I did this time?" He chuckled, and then proceeded to fill me in on the complaint.
Apparently my son was spotted driving, and she knows that he does not have a driver's license. I invited the officer inside to meet Robby. Robby, upon hearing the charge, proceeded to tell his new police friend all about his super cool new car. He even took him into the garage to show it to him and proudly demonstrated how well he drives.
Obviously the police officers realize that this lady is not in the right frame of mind. They contend that their hands are tied because she does not call 911 but rather she calls the direct line to the station. They are obliged to follow up on each complaint. I was encouraged to swear out a "no trespassing" warrant against her. Other neighbors have taken this approach and the harassing police accusations have ceased.
Going to the courthouse and swearing out a no trespassing warrant against my 90 year old neighbor goes against every instinct. Since adult protective services, the police, the home owners association, social services and her own children won't intervene, I am left with no choice. I am tired of Robby going to school and telling his teachers all about the police who keep visiting him at home! I wish we had a better option because the situation is sad for everybody involved.