Lonnie

Lonnie was rudely awakened from a pleasant dream, the happiness fading away in the face of the obnoxious sounds his damn neighbor was making again. Honestly, he could not imagine a worse neighbor; he was loud, crude, and inconsiderate. Walking into his back yard, the cool, damp grass giving pleasantly under his feet, he resolved that the only appropriate response was to stare at the oafish beast he was unfortunate enough to live next to. Lonnie settled onto the lawn chair, and stared at his neighbor. He didn’t even know the name of the ogre, all that mattered is that he spent an incredible amount of time in his yard, making noise, digging in the yard, playing ball, swimming, and generally being a neighborhood nuisance. He was so uncouth, it made Lonnie’s head hurt. Right now, he was just walking around making random sounds. It was unfortunate, really, because today looked to be a wonderful one; the sun was warm, the air was clear and cool, and the lawn chair was placed squarely in the shade. Lonnie could stare balefully at him for hours with this setup, and if it took hours of disdainful glaring to get the jerk next door to behave, then Lonnie would sit there for hours.

“Lonnie!” Jane called, but Lonnie resolutely ignored her; this was serious business, and he would not let that…that…barbarian of a neighbor get away without appropriate approbation.

“Lonnie! Come inside! Breakfast!” Jane called again. “Hurry up, I’m about to go to work! Lonnie!!”

Frustrated, Lonnie reluctantly went inside, brushing past Jane with a look over his shoulder at the fool next door – he was digging in that damn garden again. If there was dirt on the fence or in his yard again, there would be hell to pay.

“So, what are you doing out there?” Jane asked,

Lonnie just turned toward his breakfast and began eating mechanically, barely tasting the food as he watched his yard through the window, watching for any sign of interloping topsoil.

“Were you getting some sun, maybe?” Jane asked in that nasally, whiny voice she used when she was feeling neglected.

Lonnie refused to dignify the patronizing tone with even a glance in her direction.

“Well, I’m off to work then.” Jane said when she finally realized that Lonnie was not going to respond to her in any appreciable way.

Finishing his breakfast, he hurried back to the yard, taking up his vigil and Jane shrugged and headed out the door.

The oaf was busying himself by swimming in that damn pool. It was not so much swimming as it was a seemingly-endless series of belly-flops (which splashed water everywhere), followed by some inefficient flailing about, after which the cretin would haul himself out of the pool, splash even more water all over, and repeat the whole process. It was really quite amazing to Lonnie that he could do this over and over and over again and yet he never seemed to get better at it. There were no Olympic dives, plunging into the water like a dart. No smooth cutting through the water or efficient strokes allowing the swimmer to glide effortlessly through the water. No, that would be too easy for Lonnie – it seemed as if the fates had conspired against him by placing this clumsy being in his life.

The sun had encroached a little onto his lawn chair, warming the green and white plastic mesh, which made sitting in it a little more pleasant. Lonnie resumed his baleful vigil. The dolt next door continued his “swimming,” too wrapped up in his activity and noise-making to even notice how angry he’d made the whole neighborhood with his idiotic, tiresome routines. The rest of the neighbors, however, have taller fences than Lonnie was cursed with so they were probably not treated to the sights and sound of the lummox next door. He could not believe that Jane had not seen to fixing the fence when they moved in; unfortunately, she thought the white picket fence separating the two yards made the whole house “cute” and seemed to not have any problems with the neighbors. Of course, SHE got to go off to work every day, missing the lion’s share of the escapades of the lunkhead next door.

A small blue bird landed in the birdbath in Lonnie’s yard, washing itself vigorously and tweeting. At least Lonnie thought it tweeted, for though its beak opened, any sound it made was drowned out as the halfwit next door took that opportunity to shoot his mouth off at some person passing by, assaulting them with his vulgar voice. Lonnie honestly didn’t understand why the pedestrian passing by didn’t at least make a rude face at the verbal assault. Truly, his neighbor was the most offensive being on the face of God’s green earth and needed to know that he was despised for his imbecilic antics. Lonnie turned back to look at the bird, but it had flown off, much to Lonnie’s disappointment. He loved the birds that came to his yard, their sharp movements and songs entranced Lonnie to no end. Jane shared Lonnie’s enthusiasm for songbirds and had erected many “squirrel-proof” feeders for them. Lonnie did not mind the squirrels, but his neighbor took incredible pains to shoo them out of the yard, particularly when they got into his “garden.”

The passer-by had disappeared around the corner, and Lonnie’s neighbor returned to his daily routine of clowning around in the noisiest ways possible. The buffoon returned to his “swimming” routine, much to Lonnie’s annoyance. Narrowing his eyes to slits, Lonnie made sure his visage radiated hatred of his neighbor. Surely, anyone with even a modicum of awareness must notice Lonnie’s disdain, and would be properly abashed enough to cease and desist immediately, and perhaps even contemplate a lifestyle change. Lonnie was proud of his ability to convey emotions through body language alone. He found it made life much easier, most could tell by looking at him whether he was happy, sad, angry, or dozens of other emotions. Well, except for this simpleton, it seemed. Well, him and Jane. Jane was only a little better, but that was because she was so chipper all the time. Her light brown hair and honest smile often conveyed a sense of joy and optimism that Lonnie rarely was able to muster. Perhaps it is true what they say that opposites attract.

There was a loud commotion next door, breaking Lonnie out of his reverie. Some strangers had appeared next door, joining his neighbor in his inanity! Now Lonnie had to contend with three palookas disturbing his suburban paradise! Oh the universe was truly raining tragedy down upon poor Lonnie! The morons greeted each other as loudly and obnoxiously as they could, making Lonnie even more miserable than he had been before. Three lummoxes frolicking madly in the pool and making general mayhem! This was too much! Jane would finally have to do something about this, surely even she would join Lonnie in his disapproval of their churlish neighbor.

As if things weren’t bad enough already, two of the newcomers had noticed Lonnie sitting in his now well-sunned lawn chair and were making rude noises towards him. Such direct interaction with these brutes made Lonnie uncomfortable, and he made a great show of rising from his chair and walking calmly into his house, fighting down the panic he felt at the rough voices directed his way. Once inside the cooler house, he allowed himself to breathe a little more freely, gasping as he calmed himself down. His heart was pounding and he felt desperately thirsty. Calming himself with a cool drink of water and some time in the relatively quiet bedroom at the far end of the house, Lonnie took stock of the situation. His neighbor’s friends were even more unpleasant than his neighbor, and they had noticed Lonnie in the most unpleasant fashion. Well, Lonnie would have to avoid the back yard for now, and occupy himself with something else. Filling his complaining stomach with a light lunch, Lonnie took to puttering around the house. Try as he might, he could not help but glance out the window at the clods cavorting in the yard next door. Their bone-headed debauchery made Lonnie ill; now they had taken to chasing each other around the pool, pushing each other into it, leaping out, and resuming the chase! It was unseemly to behave in such a manner in such a nice neighborhood. He resolved then and there that when Jane came home, she must be made aware of the situation, and she would be made to address it! Yes, Jane would just have to fix it, seeing as this was all her fault anyway. It was her idea to move out of the nice one bedroom apartment downtown. Her idea to look for a house when an apartment, even if it were slightly larger, was obviously a better choice! Though Lonnie had to admit to himself that there were more birds here than downtown and the squirrels here did not seem as sickly as those in the city appeared. Still, birds and squirrels aside, this house was a disaster.

The sound of keys in the door awoke Lonnie from a dreamless sleep. It was dark outside and the noise was gone. Damn! The neighbor must have shooed his friends before Jane came home; now Lonnie would never get the chance to prove first hand that the neighbors were ruffians and trouble-makers!

Jane giggled as she stumbled into the living room, flicking the light on.

“Lonnie! Hey baby!” She slurred

Oh, great. She’s like THAT again. Lonnie stared in disapproval at Jane. But she seemed unfazed by his attitude.

“What’s this?” a new voice said. A deeper voice. A MAN! Jane had brought a MAN home? Lonnie was stunned! How could she do this to him? How could she just pick up some guy and then bring him HOME? To their home? Was she THAT inconsiderate?

“Oh, this is Lonnie!” Jane said as she leaned in the door gesturing to Lonnie as he sat, glowering on the couch.

“Oh, hey buddy! I thought I saw you outside today, sitting in the chair.” The MAN slurred, “That was him, right?” he directed the second question at Jane.

“Yup, that was him” She smiled broadly as she put her arms around the MAN’s neck and kissed him. Lonnie looked away, deeply offended. How could she?

“Hey, maybe me and Fred could come over this Saturday?” The MAN asked Jane when their lip lock had finally ended. “He would LOVE to meet Lonnie!”

“Oh, wouldn’t that be cute to see Fred and Lonnie playing together? I mean, he watched Fred all morning! I bet he’d LOVE your dog!” Jane exclaimed.

And with that, the sum of all Lonnie the cat’s fears was realized. His neighbor had been officially invited to invade his sanctuary! Well, Lonnie thought, I’ll just have to thank Jane properly for this surprise. He then sauntered off to leave a “present” for Jane on the bedroom floor.

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