sure, she may have danced on Broadway in the 1930s.
sure, she may have been accidentally transported, cross-country, on a train filled with goats and sheep, only to be dumped south of Seattle, inexplicably.
sure, she may have cancer growing off the tip of her nose that she may not even know about - although it could be from her performing days. a prosthetic maybe... doubtful.
sure, she puts away as many cigarettes in a day as can muster.
sure, her apartment's furniture is all propped up, unevenly, on (empty? full?) cans of Campbell's soup. thousands of them.
sure, it could all be filthy, freaky lies, the lies of someone whose antics left her abandoned at an early age, forced her to the streets and to the street's life, to hostility and subversion.
but still, she doesn't get to act this way... right?
let me start over: her name is Alice. she is old. like, late 70s-80s. she was once homeless. she is schizophrenic - or severely moody. she runs 16 yearolds off the property, threatening to hang them. she hisses at adults. spits at stoop-sitters. she laughs at squirrels that get run over in the road. she curses more before 7am than any other time of the day. she is my neighbor, Alice.
once, i was going out of town for the weekend and had vegetables in the fridge i knew would rot over the weekend. seeing as how it was my first week in the house, i offered them to her. she accepted, graciously... until she didn't. before i knew it, walking down the street, feeling gleeful and giddy, knowing that those are probably the freshest vegetables she'll have consumed in years, feeling as though i had done a good, truly neighborly thing, i sense a little wisp of air fly past my ear, fluttering what little hair i had.
then, suddenly and with unexpected audibility, *splat*. a tomato, red and ripe, landed 3 feet in front of me.
i turn around, there is Alice, cursing me from the 20 feet i've walked since handing her this gift of neighborly goodwill.
tip of the iceberg, i tell you.
tip of the Aliceberg. perfect name.
truly a beast, something that would take down a positively pleasant conversation with as much disdain as the Titanic herself, multi-layered, deep or positively hollow, made up of ice cold nothing/everything.