By Justin D. Anderson
BLB Guest Blogger
HURRICANE, W.Va. - My wife and I are in the process of moving out of our little country house here in Hurricane, about 25 miles west of Charleston. We're headed for Morgantown. My landlord called the other day while we were up in Morgantown getting our new place ready to live in. He said he'd found some people from Kentucky who were going to rent our place. Would I mind if they stored a few boxes under our carport? After all, they are coming from a long way.
“Hell no, we don‘t mind,” I said.
When we returned to our little house a couple days later, there were boxes and old decrepit furniture piled up to the ceiling of the carport and covered with tarps. We figured, who cares? We're leaving anyway. Then, last Tuesday, me and the dogs were out in the yard and this van pulls up in my driveway. My dogs start going berserk when an older fellow pops his head out of the driver's side window and says in a heavy twang, "Is it safe?" I had to ask him again what he said.
"Is it safe? Wit' dem dawgs?,” he says again.
"It all depends," I said. "Who are you?"
He pointed a dirty finger at the pile of stuff under the carport. Figuring they were just there to check on their stuff, I put the grouchier dog in the house. The driver and a young kid dressed like Fred Durst popped out of the van. The driver's got some kind of thrift shop polo on with a sallow turtleneck underneath. Ballcap with a dingy mesh back to it on his sweaty head. He introduces himself and Durst, his daughter's boyfriend.
"You guys drive all the way from Kentucky to check on your stuff?" I ask.
"Nah,” the driver said. “We's staying up over the hill there with my cousin. You'all need any help packin'?"
I thought this was a strange question. Hell no I didn't want some weirdo from Kentucky helping me pack.
"Well, y'all just let me know if y'all need any help gettin' outta here," the driver says.
Meanwhile, Durst is messing around with my dog's ears. "He's a beagle," he says.
"No, he's not a beagle," I say.
"Yeah he is,” Durst asserts again. “Look at these ears here."
"He's a beagle all right," the driver agrees.
The dog's not a freaking beagle, but I let it go. Eventually, we part ways. I head into the house to get packing and they head back to their van. I figure they are leaving. But white trash never do what you expect them to do. They're ironic in that way. I watched from my window as they take turns emerging from the van, walking through my yard to their pile of junk and sifting under the tarps. They pull out hats and shirts and other stuff and carry it slowly back to the van. Leisurely. Like they were already living there. I let it go on for an hour or so, my dog growling and barking inside the house going from window to window before I went outside.
"Look, I don't mean to be an jerk, but how long you guys plan on being here?" I ask Durst, who's rummaging through the pile.
"What you mean?" he says.
"What the hell are you doing?" I ask. "I'm trying to work in there and my dog's going nuts."
Then the driver walks up and says, “She just needs some clothes and thangs,” gesturing to his daughter, who's also rummaging through the pile.
"Well, you guys need to move on," I said. "You can't just mess around in my yard all day. This is MY house.”
"What he say?" Durst asked
"He say he don't want us here," the drive said. "We'll be on in a while."
"You guys need to move along now,” I said. “Not later."
The driver got humble suddenly and started apologizing. "We ain't going to bother you no more," he said.
I turned around and headed back into the house. After another five minutes of rummaging, they slowly backed out of my driveway. But I wondered how long would they have stayed if I hadn't tossed them? What was next? Stringing a clothesline and building a campfire? Asking if they can come in and use the phone and the bathroom?
That's white trash ignorance for you.
Justin D. Anderson previously worked as a reporter with the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia. He is planning to move to Morgantown, W.Va., and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
6 months ago