I never expected Mr. and Mrs. G. to be so ... friendly.
I figured they were homebodies because I hardly ever saw them. More often than not, they were usually home, with the door closed and the curtain blinds pulled down. I never knew what they were doing; they kinda creeped me out.
Well, on this particular day, I needed to borrow some sugar. Mama was making a cake and she'd run out of sugar. She asked me to go to the neighbor's, to see if they had any.
I went first to Mrs. Kibler's house on the right hand side of our place. Nobody home. I had forgotten that she and her husband had gone to Branson, Missouri, for a week: they wouldn't be back until at least Thursday or Friday.
I then went to Mr. G's place. I carefully, but loudly, rapped on the front door. I hoped that they were home. Luckily they were: I heard Mr. G.'s heavy footsteps coming towards the front door, then heard the sound of the door being unlocked, and soon, I was face to face with our neighbor.
What I saw shocked me. He was dressed in nothing but a pair of underwear. His hair was a mess and he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I guess he must have gotten up not too long before I had knocked on their door.
"Hey, what yew want, kid?" he growled at me. "Y'know, you just woke me up. It'd better be good, is all I can say!"
"Sorry, sir", I apologized, "But my mother is making a cake and she ran out of sugar. Do you suppose I can trouble you into letting me borrow a little? Maybe half a cup to a cup at the most."
"Come on in, kid", Mr. G. said gruffly. I stepped into the house and wondered what kind of mood Mr. G. was in once he became more aware and awake. I know he wasn't amused by my rising him out of bed earlier than planned; it was only a little after ten in the morning. I knew Mr. G. was retired, but that was about it. He liked to sleep in most mornings.
After he got me the sugar (one cup), Mr. G. offered me a can of soda. The kitchen was a mess; dishes were everywhere and three large dogs, all coonhounds, were snoozing by the stove; a big Maine Coon looking cat was lying on its back, all four paws stretched out, snoring heavily; it sounded like it had asthma.
I then heard the sound of squeaky wheels. I looked up, only to see Mr. G.'s disabled wife, roll into the kitchen in her scooter. She muttered a good morning to her husband, then nodded her head in my direction. Mr. G. explained things, and her look softened a little. She then greeted me with a nod of her head; she was never one much for words, I thought to myself.
Mrs. G. was dressed in a stained bathrobe. A faded pink; it was probably at one time a beautiful shade of coral. Her grey hair was done up in curlers and two mismatched slippers were perched upon her swollen, discolored feet. Mrs. G. had serious health problems and was often at the doctor's (or in the hospital for one thing or another, Mr. G. told me).
Mrs. G. then joined her husband (as well as myself) at the kitchen table. Mr. G. started talking about the disasterous baseball game that ended badly for the home team and the president; he hated the president with every fibre of his being and wasn't afraid to share his opinions about him with others. I didn't say a word; I just listened to him drone on and on. Mr. G's wife sat there and listened to her spouse, not saying a word.
Suddenly the cat chirruped and soon stretched luxuriously as it woke up from its slumber. It yawned hugely, then came sauntering over to the couple, big, fluffy, furry tail raised up like a flag. It started rubbing on Mr. G's leg and then came up to me, where it stood up on its hind legs and put a paw upon my knee. It meowed sweetly; instinctively, I started scratching the animal's furry neck and it dissolved into purrs. For the conditon of the kitchen, I was surprised that the cat wasn't in the same shape. It appeared to be very well cared for. It then flopped onto its side and started kneading the air with its forepaws, still purring contentedly.
The trio of dogs, meanwhile, continued to laze away the morning by the stove, unaware that his master and the wife had company.
I ended up staying at the G's place for longer than anticipated. I looked at my watch and was startled to see that I had been there for over forty five minutes: I was sure that by now Mama was probably wondering where I was. She was probably waiting for the sugar, so she could continue with her cake. I jumped up, startling Scooter (the cat), and apologized to the G's, telling them I had to get home, as my Mama needed the sugar for her cake.
They bade me a friendly goodbye as I raced out the door and onto my bike, where I pedaled back home. It was a rather nice visit, but I felt sorry for the G's. They were very nice people, but definitely odd, I kept thinking.