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The Other Neighbor
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Poor Mario. The affective schizoid/bipolar/whatever person who lives next door (the other side from the parrot/dog people) is having a rough morning.

My computer office is upstairs, right over his house, and with the beautiful early morning weather, the window is open to the fresh air and earth aromas. Mario's part-time caregiver is with him (I can hear her calming, reasonable voice), trying to settle him down from his screaming, yelling, shrieking mode. He vents his rage and fury and panic.

She has the patience of a saint. I couldn't do that job, not in a million years. But she seems to care for him and has been with him for a long time. She has, however, removed all of her belongings from the house and put them in the boot of her car. He went through a phase of ripping everything (and I mean everything) out of his house and dumping it on the curb.

The scavengers came in droves and loaded up their pickups with oak furniture, books, lamps, persian carpets, CDs, clothing--when I say everything, I mean everything. The one time I went over there to ask him to be quiet, a peek inside the front door showed a house stripped to the bare walls.

His sister (who lives back east) says that he lives on raw rice and rain water, according to what he told her on the phone. He stands in his back yard, naked except for a hat (his head is always covered), talking to -- well, I know not to whom. Or what.

His most recent upset seems to be related to the fact that he hasn't been paying his utilities and taxes and the official world is intruding on his private domain. He says he feels "raped" by it. His caregiver offered to pay the bills if he would give her the money, and that set him off again.

I wonder if officialdom will ever take any action. Probably not. He has an interest income from his inheritance, and maybe in a more lucid moment he will deal with the outside world.

We've told the caregiver if she ever feels at risk, day or night, she can come over here and use the phone or just stay a while. She demurred, saying he's not a danger to himself or anyone else.

Maybe. I was raised by a paranoid schizophrenic, and my reaction is "maybe". I've seen a psychotic break in action and it can get pretty violent, even with a person who showed absolutely no indication of aggression. I lock my doors at night.

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