What’s With the Neighbor?

During this time that I had some money stashed away in my pocket, that I had been keeping for our upkeep for another couple of weeks. I had considered using it for leaving Bocas to return to Colon and, from there, getting lost somewhere in Panama City. On second thought, however, I thought it better to wait until the newborn baby was older before forcing us to travel.

I also decided not to spend any more money on purchasing things to make us a home since I foresaw that Pug and I would each one go our separate ways. The fact was that I did not see in her a readiness to grow up and I was still angry about how things had turned out between us. I lived in constant uncertainty as to what other commitments she had made with people that would force me to be in front of the Corregidor again.

I pretended to have forgiven her by encouraging her to be more positive about us having a home and focusing on the baby boy as a way of taking attention off of both our feelings for each other. However, during the next few days, storms of destructive events would rear their ugly head again, this time from outside our home. I had been back working in the fields, and on our way home amongst our group of workers I was called in to answer to the housing supervisor, a Mr. Anderson. “What has brought on all that row between you and the people next door Juni?” he asked, as we stopped to talk but, frankly, I could not answer the gentleman’s question because I really did not know the answer.

“Mr Anderson,” I said as we slowly walked, “I don’t know what has gotten into that guy, but my wife told me that she and that woman he lives with have crossed words. I have tried to stay out of it.” Then he stopped and said, “I don’t know what to make of this. I thought that you all would make good neighbors,” said Mr. Anderson, really concerned. And so we both kept walking and trying to make sense of what was going on, trying to find something that would set things aright again. “I’ve really been thinking of speaking to the fellow,” I said, completely forgetting that those two women had fought in Colon. Memories of that building that Pug had grown up in came back to me and where this bad blood between them had all started and now it had gotten out of hand. Only now I was caught up in that feud between the two women as well as the rest of our heighborhood.

I thought back about how that woman had tried to get me to sit with her on the train from Baseline, and I wouldn’t. She, out of spite, had set the whole neighborhood against me, fabricating some kind of relationship between me and her and Pug. That very evening, Mr. Anderson and I had gotten under the house where Pug and I and our neighbors lived.

But before we both knew what other thing to say about the recent situation, a voice coming from upstairs said, “Hey Juni! You son-a-bitch! You wait!” Then down the stairs he came rushing confident of an impending victory, as he appeared with a piece of galvanized water pipe of approximately four feet in length, which he held like a baseball bat. I stood my ground as he came at me about to swing at my head.

Mr. Anderson moved out of the way real fast, but I held my ground, having surveyed the area and seen how the place was laied out with four or more 4X4’s used as columns to hold up the structure. I got behind one of them just as he came at me ready to swing. But, the Lord was with me  as I held my ground and caught the pipe with both hands like an outfielder. I tried to yank it away from him but he held on, fearful now for his life. In the meanwhile I was worried about this man before me who was ready to kill me.

This story continues.

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