That’s right. I’m related to Helen Keller.
So it’s cool.
The same as how you use it when you impersonate your creepy third cousin with the moist lisp and sticky handshake to your pals.
The very one you mock at Thanksgiving while he’s outside sniffing expired spray paint from an empty Wendy’s bag…the one that you feel emboldened to lampoon for the sole reason that you share a modicum of similar DNA, just a smidge more than the zero genetic relationship Michael Jackson shares with all of his “children.”
The only difference is my relative is a super awesome heroine with movies and multi page wikipedia entries and yours isn’t…and even more–I’m not making fun of her. I’m channeling her.
Nashville has changed much since I arrived in this world, breathless and pissed at Baptist Hospital. Some are good, like speak easy cocktail joints like Patterson House and domestic immigrants adding their own flavor and accents to our twangy melting pot.
Except the ones from New Jersey. That just sounds like a pelican’s head exploding from sneezing too hard.
But there are plenty of other things that only Helen Keller would enjoy.
Because she could’t see or hear them.
She couldn’t see rich old white people that hate mass transit.
So hey. Just a head’s up. If thieves want to come to your neighborhood and break into your house, they’re not taking the damn bus. There’s no cargo storage for stolen televisions on the under carriage or trailers for poached lawnmowers. They are not all coming for you. Chill the hell out.
She also can’t see the results of the new accepted policy that people can sell things in the streets. I’m not talking about the occasional soccer team doughnut sale where teenagers turn traffic stops into some strange amalgamation of Lord of the Flies and Krispy Kreme.
I’m referring to my daily commuting ritual that now involves me dodging multiple people attempting to sell me newspapers. I don’t buy any newspapers. Ever. But it’s cool that the city has consciously decided to let the intersections be turned into bumper car newsstands.
Or at least Helen thinks so. Cause she can’t see them.
She also can’t hear me be called an evil proponent of gentrification.
So recently I built a house.
I built a house in an area where, 10 years ago, people would come to buy drugs, weapons, and other things that one could generally expect to lead to their death faster than cracking a skinny jeans joke within 500 square miles of East Nashville.
I have endured several comments about the “sad redevelopment” of their city. But here’s the deal. Before my house was here…there was another house here.
While I love the practicality of burning your trash in your backyard and applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of someone renting a home and selling crystal meth out the side door, I think I’m a step in the right direction.
Sure, I throw Taylor Swift karaoke parties and jack up the music too loud, and I do often insist on cleaning at odd hours of the night after a few drinks, but I’d like to think I bring a certain flair to the neighborhood.
And as I told the people across the street when they shouted “go back to where you came from,”
“I am where I came from. About two miles…”
“…and also, Metro regularly misses my alley so could you burn some of my trash?”
Helen…if only you were here…you’d love it!