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Topher Payne: The new year brings a tentative truce

Playwright and writer Topher PayneWe haven’t actually spoken to our schizophrenic next-door neighbor in about six months, save for one afternoon when I was in the back yard, on the phone with my sister. I made the mistake of looking in the direction of Crazypants’ house, which prompted her to scream, “Don’t you look over here!”

I was theoretically happy to oblige, but it’s incredibly difficult to not look in a particular direction when one is standing in one’s own back yard. Go on, try it. It is a challenge.

For the past two years, Crazypants has been convinced that we are sneaking into her home and disabling her security system, garbage disposal, and other home electronics. It’s a blind faith usually reserved for religious fanatics — the difference being when something bad happens, she doesn’t think it’s part of God’s master plan, she thinks it’s a couple of gays with too much time on their hands.