Sitting in the upstairs alcove, looking out the window as I worked, I saw a familiar figure in the back yard of the Meth House. Skinny sunglasses, hair cut short to the skull, shoulders hunched up by his ears, baggy cargo pants, and that swagger. Oh, that unmistakable swagger.
Here's the July post about his arrest. There have been other, earlier posts. He's been around, and whistling, and getting arrested, for going on six years now.
The Whistler has been trying to live a good life, as far as we could tell. But Thursday night it all went to hell.
For years, we knew him as a mysterious thug who rode his bike to our park, stood in the grass, stared up at the triplex that we like to call the Meth House, and whistled. A piercing, jarring whistle that set Riley and Boscoe to barking and sometimes jolted us out of our sleep. He whistled at all times of the day and night.
Who was he? What did he want? We suspected drugs, and we weren't entirely wrong. It turned out that he was in love with Corinna, the stocky blond woman who lived on the Meth House top floor. He whistled to get her attention, though why he didn't just call on a cell like everyone else in the world is something we cannot answer. It also turned out that he was in repeated trouble with the law--sometimes for drugs--and that he expressed his love for Corinna in ways that often resulted in restraining orders.
A year ago, he calmed down. He moved into the meth house and became quite the model citizen. He shoveled snow in the winter, with a swagger, and mowed his grass in the summer. He somehow acquired a green minivan. I wondered how long this transformation could last, and I've been impressed that it lasted as long as it did.
Thursday night, things went south. Doug and I were sitting on the back porch when we heard the Whistler's shouts, and Corinna's screams. A thud or two. "Get out of my house, get out of my house, get out of my houuuuuuuuuuse!" Cops showed up. The Whistler ran.
Brave man, that.
Friday morning he was back, swaggering down the alley in his undershirt and mirrored sunglasses. The cops were there within seconds--two squad cars, parked so hastily they were at odd angles to the curb and other cars had to gingerly inch around them.
I was upstairs, reading, when I heard a shout that was both angry and plaintive. One word: Corinna! Over and over again. I looked out the window and there he stood, sunglasses atop his head, the polarized blue flashing in the July sunshine. His hands were cuffed behind his back, and a cop stood close on either side. He did not look at the cops. He did not move. He stared urgently toward the Meth House and shouted. Corinna!
Corinna did not appear. It was, in its own way, heartbreaking. Eventually, the cops stuffed him in the back seat and drove off. Ah. Independence Day, but not for him.