Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scary Gary

There is a little rental house, catty-corner to mine, which faces Iliff Avenue.  I still refer to this place as "The House of Dracula" because of the vampire who lived there when I first bought my house. 

He was tall and painfully thin, with skin tone like white chalk and jet-black hair.  His woman, the Bride of Dracula, was as corpulent as he was emaciated.  Her skin had a weird, transluscent quality which, along with her scarlet lipstick (I think  hope it was lipstick), lent her the appearance of a bloated tick on a dog's ear.

I saw her, every now and then, out and about in the back yard, while the sun was still up.  I never saw The Count, himself, except after the sun was down and it was fully dark.  He would mow the yard in total darkness, with no flashlight or other form of illumination other than the starlight.

He was the most domestic vampire I've ever been around.

After The Count and his Bride moved out, the next denizen of the house was the interesting fellow after which this post is named.  Gary was one of those guys who never had a real job.  He made a living, of sorts, as a petty drug dealer and a metal scrounger.  He would drive his old pickup, with the expired Michigan license plates and no thought of insurance coverage, up and down the alleys of Denver, scrounging whatever metal he could find in and around the dumpsters.

One day, he came strolling into the back yard, high as a kite, and invited himself to sit down with me.  We got to talking, and he told me his life story.  In the midst of it, Gary mentioned that he had seen me working on bikes, a few times, and that he had a pile of bikes he had pulled from the dumpsters.

"I haven't separated out the aluminum and the steel, yet," he said.  "Come over and see if there's anything you need."

So, with the audience in the theater shouting "Don't go in there,"  I followed Scary G into the shed behind The House of Dracula.  There, he had a literal pile of derelict bikes.

I dug through the bikes, and pulled out a few interesting examples.  I ended up with a Specialized StreetStomper for Scott's collection (Scott actually helped develop that model, and named it), plus a couple of others.

For the rest of the time that Scary Gary lived back there, he would periodically come over and tell me he had some bikes to look at.  In return, I gave him some useless wheels and frames, a pile of fluorescent light fixtures, and various other bits of scrap metal.

Gary made a sudden departure, one day, and I never saw him again.  That was not really a surprise...


1 comment:

  1. You seem to attract these characters.


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.