Late one evening, St. Pauli Girl and I were sitting in our courtyard enjoying a cocktail when we noticed a light reflecting off the side of the house. It disappeared then came back. The courtyard is surrounded by a five foot high brick wall, so we couldn't see beyond it without standing up. Having sat out there on many a night, I knew it couldn't be the headlights of a car.
"What's that light?" I asked. "Is that a flashlight?"
Then we heard a grunt.
"That sounded like an animal," I said.
"Yeah but they don't normally carry flashlights."
I pushed my wrought iron chair back dragging the legs along the bricks trying to make as much noise as possible.
"Hello?" I called out as I walked to the brick wall.
I peered out out over the wall and saw a scruffy man in a white t-shirt, grey shorts and sandals and using his cell phone as a flashlight.
"Hello, can I help you?" I yelled out trying to be firm and civil
He said something, but I couldn't understand it. He stood still staring at his phone.
"Time to get serious," I thought.
"Hey! What are you doing on my lawn?" I said in the deepest foreboding drill seargant voice I could muster.
"I'm looking for my wife," he snapped back as he resumed looking at his phone.
"Not good enough. What are you doing on my property?" I demanded.
I turned to look at St. Pauli Girl to tell her to get ready to call 911, but she was gone. Then I saw the front porch light come on. I quickly ran into the house and to the front door. I came out into the front yard and saw St. Pauli Girl talking to the stranger. I ran toward them as St. Pauli Girl walked back toward the garage.
"Marcellus Wallace, I live three houses down." the stranger said as he held out his hand to me. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.)
I introduced myself and shook his hand.
"Just looking for my wife," he said. "So you bought the De La Hoya house?"
"What?" I asked while still trying to grasp how this weird situation had now become a normal conservation. "I didn't know the house had a name."
"They were the previous owners," he said smirking.
At this point I noticed his wobbly legs as St. Pauli Girl came back from the garage.
"Well she's not in the garage," she said. "Did you meet Mr. Wallace? He said he saw his wife walk up here."
"Yeah, I was concerned," he said. "She was pretty drunk, and I'm just trying to get her home safely."
"I don't think so," I said, "we've been out here all night and haven't seen or heard a thing."
"Hmmm, maybe next door."
We watched him stumble across the driveway into the neighbor's yard.
"I wonder who's drunker, him or his wife," I said as we walked back to the courtyard.
"You know who that was don't you?"
"That was the ex-mayor."
"What? Really?" I asked.
"Yeah, can't remember when exactly but I guess before you moved to the Great Republic of Texas."
We resumed our cocktails when about ten minutes later, we saw the same light flashing on the house. We walked back out to see Marcellus walking up our driveway again.
"She's not here," I yelled. "We would have seen her."
"Just let me check your garage."
St. Pauli Girl walked through the garage and told him the same thing.
Marcellus threw up his hands and walked down the driveway and back to the street. He weaved badly in and out of the street. We stood and watched him stumble up and down the street a couple of times.
"Do you think we should call the police?" St. Pauli Girl asked.
"I'm torn between not wanting to stay up all night getting interviewed by the police and being awakened by his cell phone flashlight shining in our bedroom window. If we see him come by again before we call it a night, we'll call the police."
We sat down and quietly contemplated the incident for a few minutes.
I finally broke the silence. "You know, considering this is Texas, it's amazing and lucky that we were both unarmed."
We didn't see him again the rest of the night.
Several weeks later, St. Pauli Girl called me at work to tell me the dogs had escaped from the backyard. Both the sidegate and back gate were wide open, and I failed to notice when I let the dogs out.
"Do you think the mayor was looking for his wife again?" St. Pauli Girl asked.
(The dogs returned safely.)