Our car was officially written off yesterday. I knew it would be, of course, but I’m still completely devastated. It doesn’t help that right before we got the email (yes, they told us by email. Presumably so that we wouldn’t sob down the phone to them?) confirming this, they’d told us by phone that there was a chance they might fix it, so I’d gotten my hopes up, only to have them dashed again a couple of hours later. So that sucked.
As Terry started to deal with the huge mountain of paperwork that followed this horrible episode, and I struggled to not to start crying again, however, we slowly became aware that the house was noisier than usual. There was banging. There was crashing. There was whining from Rubin, who seemed to be trying to communicate something to us. Hmmm.
Assuming that the various thudding noises were coming from a car in the street, and that Rubin probably just needed to, you know, relieve himself, I let him into the garden, and stood there for a few seconds, listening. Nope, no car stereo was pounding out obnoxious dance music, so I shrugged my shoulders and went back inside to resume my misery.
And the banging and thudding resumed, too.
So consumed were we with the horror of the whole car drama, that it took a particularly loud bang, followed by a volley of barking from Rubin, for us to decide that hey, maybe this was something we should investigate? The sounds did, after all, sound a lot like they were coming from inside the house, in classic horror movie style, so Terry headed downstairs, and I headed to the bedroom window, to peer out into the street.
And there he was. Nigel, the International Man of Mystery Next Door, had returned to us, a mere SIX YEARS after his last known appearance.
Or at least, we think he had returned to us. It’s been so long since I last laid eyes on TIMOM that I wouldn’t swear in a court of law, say, that the man spotted leaving the house next door yesterday evening was definitely our suspect, and Terry didn’t get a good look at him at all, but let’s just say that he met the suspect’s description. And had been in his house for at least 30 minutes, which does seem to confirm that this was either the Man of Mystery himself, or someone acting on his behalf. Let’s say it was him, though: it’ll make this post more interesting.
As for what Nigel – if, indeed, t’was he – was actually DOING inside the home he hasn’t visited for six years, well, who knows? What we DO know is that it involved a lot of banging, a bit of thundering up and down stairs, and was accomplished within the space of about 30 minutes or so, after which Nigel got into his car and drove off into the sunset. Can you bury a body in 30 minutes? Anyone?
What we ALSO know is that if Nigel ever does move back, we’ll have to either buy a new house, or cut off our ears, because damn, those walls are thin. And that dude is noisy, with the thundering on the stairs, and the burying of the bodies.
What is the meaning of this latest sighting, though, that’s what I want to know? Why would you own a house for six years, never bother to visit or maintain it, and then turn up one day, under cover of… dusk… spend 30 minutes crashing around, and then leave? What was he doing? Why did he come? Why NOW, after all this time? And why didn’t he mow his freaking lawn while he was there? So many questions. So little chance of them ever being answered.
For now, though, at least we know this: Nigel is out there. Alive. And one day, he may come back…*
(*But hopefully not until we’ve moved out, because like I say: THIN WALLS. INTOLERABLE.)