Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Crazy Neighbor Died

I think I have mentioned my crazy neighbor before. Not crazy as in "he annoys me" but crazy as in he's fine on his meds and call the cops when he is off them. Crazy as in believing that God talks to him through a stick he has with an amulet on top. Crazy as in believing that he is invisible when he has his prayer shawl on his head.

He lived in a shack across the street and the small field from me. The shack was reminiscent of the most squalid slum you could imagine, constructed of plyboards set loosely together with no electricity. I take my dog out to the field and he would often follow me around the field pointing the stick at me and Noostie. Once he threw the stick at a collegue who also used the field for her dog, and once another neighbor who didn't even know me stopped and kept an eye on him while I was in the field so the guy wouldn't hurt us.

When he aimed his stick at me like a gun, I called our security guys.

One of our security guys went by to talk to him, and it turns out the man is a retired piano teacher and has been living in the shack for well over 40 years. He thinks all his neighbors are Shin Bet (Israeli Security Services) spying on him. He doesn't like dogs because they see him when he is invisible. His and one other shack are the last pre-67 dwellings and they are grandfathered in. They can stay until the owners die or leave. The land actually belongs to the Queen of England.

I found out he died because I was home yesterday for the packout of my HHE (household effects) and saw them bulldozing his shack. The guy from the municipality told me the old guy had died. As crazy and threatening as he was, it still makes me a little sad. He added color to a very yuppy neighborhood, and I had wondered if he was okay since I hadn't seen him in a while. Now I know.

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