Assuming Elise

Many, many years ago, back in a time that we referred to as “The Nineties”, I lived in an apartment complex that was affectionately referred to as “The Method“.

Some of my closest friendships are biproducts of the days at The Method. We threw footballs to each other from the third floor of adjoining buildings. We played games like “Chenga” (Cheesy fell asleep on his birthday so we attempted to strategically stack household items on top of him without waking him) and Hacky Trash (a complex game of tennis requiring two empty pizza boxes and empty aluminum cans). We once put a scooter in the dumpster, removed it from the dumpster, jumpstarted it and returned it to the dumpster. We made a fancy plastic lawnchair bonfire in the breezeway. We would have regular competitions of Who Can Throw This Over the Roof of the Stripmall Across the Alley? We would order twelve pizzas to James’ apartment while he was at work. We would all hide in our respective apartments. When the pizza delivery guy would show up, we’d congregate in the breezeway and say that James was just hauled off to jail. We would get free pizzas.

It was a great fraternity. We were all free-spirited bachelors who were living in “The Nineties”; a time when men joined together, threw caution to the wind, passed wind, raised their fists into the air and belched.

Then a girl moved into building 4 just below your humble narrator. We never saw this girl. I’m pretty sure she was scared of us.

We liked to keep our sector of The Method relatively tidy. That girl below me left a pair of muddy hiking boots just outside her front door for a really long time. I immediately assumed and attributed this to lesbianism. Keep in mind that this was “The Nineties” and all lesbians wore muddy hiking boots. I know this because I once was a lesbian. I think.

Being the motley crew that we were, we contemplated using those muddy boots in a game of Hacky Trash. We thought about loading them with fireworks and seeing if we could launch them over the roof of the strip mall across the alley. It wasn’t that we were homophobic bigots, we just got tired of walking past dirty hiking boots everyday. We didn’t yet know this new neighbor and wanted her (and her hot lesbian friends) to feel welcome at The Method. We let the boots be.

Weeks later that dirty booted lesbian became my girlfriend. That was, of course, after learning that she wasn’t a lesbian. Then I married her.

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