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  • The house next door gets straighter and straighter

    After Mary and Bill left, the owner did some cosmetic work to the house, but left the backyard alone. In time we had new neighbors again, a white guy in his later forties named Mark and his dog Samantha, an accomplished escape artist.
    A week after moving in, Mark threw a party. It started off normal, but then John and I started hearing chanting. When we looked out the kitchen window we saw a vitamin company banner strung through trees in his backyard and the party guests huddled in a circle chanting the company's name over and over again.

    Our next door neighbor was a cult vitamin selling guy.

    A few days later, John told me that he had seen Mark naked on his back balcony. I thought it was a joke, until one morning when I looked out the kitchen window and saw Mark nude in his backyard watering plants. It quickly became a common sight to see him having coffee or gardening either nude or in a thong. If Mark had been a particularly handsome or ugly man, it might have been interesting, but since he was neither, it didn't take long for it to become mundane. Mark didn't seem concerned that we could see him, or that by removing the curtains from his front windows anyone passing on the street could see him nude as well.

    Our next door neighbor was an exhibitionist, nudist, cult vitamin selling guy.

    He did take care of the backyard though. At least the parts closest to the house. He watered the fruit trees and tamed the bougainvillea which was attempting to devour his garage. Hopefully not while naked, bougainvilleas have nasty thorns.
    For an exhibitionist, Mark wasn't that outgoing a person. We would talk only when John or I would bring his escape artist dog back home after an adventure of roaming the streets. Even then it was rarely more than a quick thank you.
    Like Bill, Mark had visitors. At first it was just a woman who would occasionally stay overnight who Mark never introduced us to. Then it was a man who would stay overnight fairly often who Mark never introduced us to. They never stayed over at the same time and as far as John and I knew, Mark was never naked with them. Not outside the house anyway.

    About six months after Mark moved in, John and I hired a man to remove a stump from our front yard. When finished, he left a short stack of wood by the side gate. The next weekend we heard several men walking down the street spitting, swearing and making crude jokes about women. Then we realized that the guys weren't in the street. They were in our front yard taking the wood. John stopped them and they told him that Mark said they could have it.

    Mark came by later that day and apologized, explaining that his men’s group was having a camp out and needed wood for a fire. The explanation was lame, but accepted and we spent the rest of the afternoon cracking jokes about the men. We also joked about how sad it was that straight women had to deal with men like that and how said women may not have had to deal with at least two of them. Despite the spitting, swearing, misogynistic jokes and ugly clothes, a couple of the guys came off more than a bit queeny. 

    Then things got stranger.

    We started having problems with the mail. It was rarely delivered to the right address. Several evenings were spent with neighbors walking mail over to the correct house. At least that is what we hoped was happening. We never did get some issues of a few magazines.

    I came home from work one afternoon and started sorting through the mail. Junk mail; bill; letter for my address, but different street; bill for Mark; GLBT newsletter for Mark. It surprised me that he was getting "gay" mail, then I remembered where I had heard the name of the group before. It was an exGay organization. I walked it over to Mark's mailbox along with his bill.

    Our next door neighbor was an exGay, nudist, exhibitionist, cult vitamin selling guy.

    This ever growing list of adjectives was ridiculous, and we had no idea what to make of Mark by this point. He remained withdrawn, continued to have overnight visitors of both genders and spent a lot of time naked. We never found out what he thought of having an openly gay male couple as next door neighbors and we never told him that we got his exGay mail by accident.

    Roughly a year after he moved in, Mark moved out.

    To be continued.
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