Just like a good neighbor, Kim Doose is there
After years of careful reflection, I have reached an important opinion about myself.Either I am a really bad neighbor or I am completely nuts.You know, cuckoo. Loco en la cabeza. Perhaps it’s that notion that compels me to tell the rest of the story.Call it the reporter in me, but sometimes readers need an amplification of the facts in order to see the truth. And the truth is, when I purchased my first home six years ago in one of my favorite parts of this city, I was a sweet, sane, native Glenwood girl. Now people think the Sopranos raised me.But if you ask me, I was just unconsciously mimicking my surroundings that were full of episodes that made me wonder if the people from reality television were secretly filming me.Like the time on my way home from work when I pulled over to let the fire truck pass and seconds later, when I merged back into traffic behind them, I realized they were on their way to my house where my neighbor had set her kitchen on fire.It’s odd, but I seem to attract pyromaniacs for no apparent reason other than I value a peaceful home environment. And trust me, you do not know anxiety until you are sitting in the newsroom and you hear Glenwood Fire and the GSPD routinely dispatched to your address. It’s like living in the Bronx – without the benefit of the Yankees.Yes, a woman can learn a lot about herself living in the wrong neighborhood.For instance, I had no idea that words escape me at three in the morning. And it wasn’t apparent to me that I couldn’t speak Spanglish until I would inevitably mix the wrong verbs, and an appeal for someone to be quiet would come out as a rude request to open a door.While this provided endless entertainment for everyone involved, the next morning things would turn ugly again when I’d open the patio door on a blissful Sunday morning and realize that someone from the third story balcony had drunk too much, lost their dinner … and I don’t need to tell you where that landed. This crude behavior would go on for months and then the offensive neighbors would do the unthinkable.They would move.Then I would have to train new people all over again, and I don’t have to tell you what that was like. But I imagine that’s how I got my nickname. You see, for a while, we had two homeowners named Kim. There was cute, friendly, red-haired Kim, and then there was Evil Kim. You can guess which name I earned.This is about the time my neighbors convinced me that I should write for television.Call it the Crime Scene Investigator in me, but when 200 pounds of human flesh plummets out of a second-story window at 2 a.m., I inquire. This is why I’m here to report that the sound effect is not a common thud. It’s one hell of a harrumph.The next day, when I confronted the party involved, as I had imagined, it was a terrific study in human character and call it the drama queen in me, but I played it for all it was worth.”Excuse me, ma’am? I saw people dropping out of your window last night?”We eyeballed each other.”No, jus’ me and my husband live here,” she said. “Nobody else.” I was stunned at her response and later, all I could think about is what CSI Gil Grissom would have said to her.”Ma’am, people lie … gravity doesn’t.”Call it the movie buff in me, but I thought I was starring in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller where all the crazy people try to make the rational person think she’s gone mad.So there was really only one thing left to do.I called in my A-Team and my sibling, John, sold my condominium and found a real home for me to buy. It seems he was worried that I was going to end up in somebody’s trunk or somewhere far worse. Like CopShop.Nonetheless, on closing day, I wanted to leave a survival package for the new owner that included earplugs, a super size bottle of Tylenol P.M. and the nonemergency number to the Glenwood Springs Police Department, but I didn’t, only because John said I had experienced plenty of quality moments and I didn’t need another.Now I don’t know what to do with myself since my new neighbors apparently have no desire to launch firecrackers into my flowerpots.So I think about how living in a bad place for a long time taught me two things.The best way to leave something that makes you unhappy is to decide to stop living in it.And sometimes all you have to do to begin a new chapter is turn the page.Call that the writer in me.Kim Doose is the Our Towns reporter for the PI and she’s a great neighbor. Really.
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This will be my 500th column — my final column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.