I just got a text from my mom, via e-mail.
What it said shocked me.
"Crazy Woman" is the pseudonym I choose to use for my old neighbor, Crazy Woman.
Mom: Crazy Woman was murdered. (Text confirmed by NECN)
Before my sister was born, my parents bought a house on Lynn Street, in Everett. We bought the house from my aunt, who warned us that our neighbor was a bit screwy in the head--to put it mildly. It was a long time before we realized just what she meant. We lived beside her for 13 years. We did not part on good terms.
In fact, the year we moved away, as we were trying to sell the house, we noticed Crazywoman attempting to drain her pool into our basement!! Now, I don't say this to be petty, but I clearly remember her, every single year prior, draining the pool into Lynn Street. She had the hose, and even plumbing (I think) out to the front her her house. Yes, I think there was a white tube for draining her pool; but I remember the tidal wave of water splashing out to our street; except for when we were moving.
Fortunately, we had a good foundation, and caught her as she was doing it, but that just goes to show what kind of a person Crazywoman was. She was nuts. The kind of nuts that attacks your mom because your mom forgot to pick her up milk that night... I wish I was kidding, but I can still see the cops' lights flashing on our old, white house (which is now purple).
Crazy Woman was your typical, old, highly-religious grandma figure. (And I believe the more religious you are, the crazier you are!) To my knowledge, she had only two children. One was a big-wig beautician out in NYC--whom I never met but was told wanted nothing to do with her--the other, sadly, passed away from AIDs. I believe there was a third, whom died in a fire, but I never heard Crazywoman talk about her.
Kerry; I liked him. A lot. Not in the "I was attracted to him" sort of way--although the only image I have of him is wearing a speedo--Ha! I liked Kerry because he was so nice, and misunderstood. He was your stereotypical, super-sweet, gay guy. I don't remember him to be flamboyant, I just remember he was awesome. I can't even remember why. It depresses me that I didn't know he died, and I wish I could have known him better. All I remember of him is that I'd see him over the fence, and I'd jump up on to the metal fence to talk to him. (Crazywoman had a tall, wooden fence, and we had a short, metal fence; they lined up perfectly, and so I would always hop up onto ours, while hanging on to hers, and talk to them both. One time, I actually snapped off the point of her fence; must have been weakened by years of use. She was not happy, but I don't remember her being mad at me.
Crazy Woman was the kind of woman who most likely beat her dogs. We didn't talk to her for a year or two before we moved away, but I remember watching her out my bedroom window. Her on her hands and knees, gardening in her tight-purple spandex. Her second dog, Rainbow, went from a healthy, happy, pup to a cripple. Literally, I remember him in a diaper, dragging his back legs around the back yard. I wish to hell that I'd called the ASPCA, but I was young and didn't know better. Plus she was crazy. That isn't much of an excuse, though. Rainbow used to cry some nights; We think she locked him up in the bathroom. You never really know what goes on behind closed doors, though.
I remember, towards the end, I was afraid to go into my front yard. She was always there, always watching. For some reason, she went from loving gestures of "I Love You" to solid glares. Whenever my mom would walk by, she would curl her fingers to the side of her head to represent devil's horns. That's one of the last things I remember her saying to me, too. She told me my mother was the devil. Something along the lines of, "God help you, Spawn of Satan."
I remember bits and pieces of her house. You would enter, and there was a hutch to the right. She had gum there, and a bunch of crap that I never bothered to look at. Pictures, I think. Once she told me to get a piece of gum out of the drawer; I think it was a medium colored wood. I told her "no thanks" and she was insulted. She asked "Why not?" And I told her, honestly, I didn't want to eat old gum. I thought it had been there for years. Old ladies didn't chew gum--that was my logic, anyway. She was unimpressed.
To the left of the entrance was her living room. There was a sofa, I think? Light colored. I remember the carpet. I remember her Christmas displays took up the whole room. Big statues of Santa, and dolls. I think her tree went in there too. That room lead to her living room; there may have been a sofa in there too--I don't quite remember. I know she had a TV in there, because I remember her showing me her illegal set-up. She had a black-box, and some sort of contraption that allowed her to watch her living room tv on her kitchen TV. I remember playing with Rainbow in that livingroom. Scruffy little dog. When she first brought him home, he was amazed by his image in a mirror. It was hilarious. I think she had a computer desk there too; big and light colored. It's weird what you remember, sometimes.
Somewhere between there and the kitchen was a bathroom; I think it actually branched off of the kitchen, but I'm not sure. But picture a square, broken into 4 sections, and that was her house. the first block on the bottom right was the entrance, to the left was her living room, above it was the other living room, to the right of that was the kitchen, and back down is the entrance. Somewhere between the kitchen and the second living room was her bathroom. Regardless, I bring up the bathroom because of two particular memories. She bought a fancy sink, so fancy that I laughed and called it a bird bath. She was insulted, but it eventually turned to a game. "Bird bath, bird bath," I would harass her. She would retaliate by giving me raspberries on the neck, or back, embraced in a big hug. It was funny. The other memory, which I'm not entirely sure of, but hope is not true is that I remember her underwear. I had an odd flashback of someone washing her underwear in her sink, which is completely weird. I think I either watched her washing her underwear in the sink, or she had me wash them. Why I would do it is beyond me, but I was a pretty dense kid. If she told me I had to do it, I probably would have. Anyway, I have apparently repressed that memory, because I can't remember what really happened... Moving on.
That was Crazywoman; she could be really nice, and she could be senselessly nasty. I remember the stories of when she threatened a woman down the street with a knife; She hosed another one down in an argument. Her road rage almost got her thrown in jail (or it did get her thrown in jail, and she was bailed; I will probably never know the true story.) But she followed a woman home and tried beating her up because the woman had cut her off on the highway. This is the woman who brought me to church prior to my back surgery, and asked the church pray for me.
My aunt says she once spilled kitty litter on the sidewalk, and Crazy Woman retaliated by taking a bag of kitty litter, and shit, squirming with maggots, and dumped it on her front door. Knocking to ask my aunt how she liked the mess. My aunt retaliated by grabbing it and running it to the second floor of her home--tossing the bag out the window and into Crazywoman's pool.
The stories are endless. And so I am fascinated with this story. I wonder if that is normal? This was once my home, that was once my neighbor, that is my old house in the corner of the news articles. I sold lemonade in front of her house. I rode my bike around that corner. She came to my birthday parties. Took pictures of me when I went to my Jr. High Prom. She probably still has them!
I want to know what happened, exactly as it happened, and what's more is that I want to know who killed her. Was it random, as they says? Or did she finally push someone too far? Did she still remember me? Did she still take pity on me? Does she still have pictures of my family, or the old home videos she shot of us? Did she know I thought she was crazy? Did she know she was crazy?
I will never know. I hate not knowing.