I woke up on Saturday to the same waist-high pile of snow that everyone else in Boston did. I threw on my hat and gloves, picked up my shovel, and began digging out. All around me, neighbors were digging. Mostly it was three or four people with shovels taking care of the spot in front of their house, and their driveway. I live in a corner house, and thus, had to dig out the front porch, the front walkway, the street in front of the house, the street to the left of the house, and the back porch. No big.
Everyone in the neighborhood appeared to have woken up at the same time. adults were digging, children were fwomping in the snow piles, plows were clearing out parking lots, and across the street, the group of guys who smoke so much weed that when I open the windows, you can smell it in my living room, were sitting on their porch (which was still covered in snow), drinking, and watching everyone else dig.
Because the top foot and half or so of snow was the nice powdery kind, it only took me about an hour and a half to dig all the way from front door to the back. Adults were still shoveling, kids were still fwomping, and the guys across the street appeared to be laughing (I had headphones on). As I headed back around the house toward the front door, I saw them waving at me.
I walked across the street, pulling out my earbuds.
"Hey, man." said the most drunk/stoned looking one. "Can you dig out our car?"
I laughed because, of course, they’re kidding, and being high and neighborly.
"No, for real." said the one who walks out to the street at 2 AM to talk to people who drive by the house. I’m sure he’s just complimenting people on their rides and not selling them any of the copious amounts of weed that he burns…for warmth. "We’ll give you ten bucks."
I laughed again. ”A hundred.”
Two laughed. The one who offered me ten bucks did not. ”Ten bucks.”
I shook my head. ”I sold my car when I moved to Boston so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking or snow emergencies. And I don’t need ten dollars. Try one of the kids that lives” and, here, I had to look up and down the street because I had no idea where the kids in the neighborhood lived, “there.”
The dude stared at me. ”I asked you.”
"I said no." I laughed. "Good luck." And I put my headphones back in, and walked back toward my house. My headphones are the lovely, noise-canceling variety, so, while I could see he was still talking to me, I have no idea what he was saying. I’m guessing it wasn’t "Have a nice day."
As of this morning, his car was still completely covered in the, now wet and therefore impossible to shovel, snow.