So, I’m pretty sure my neighbor’s live-in boyfriend is a drug dealer. Now, on one hand, this really annoys the crap out of me. Such activity attracts a grungy, unwashed, tattooed smoker kind of crowd that hold loud, outdoor parties with clouds of pot smoke drifting over the hedge. Then there’s the fact that their life style brings an increased risk factor to the area. Also, I kind of think one of their dogs died because it “ate that whole nugget.” I’m not entirely sure what amount or type of drug a nugget is, but I’m pretty sure that it can’t be good for a fat, old bulldog.
On the other hand, since Scruffy Boyfriend moved in, the home maintenance is up and so are the weird, crime ridden stories I hear over the hedge. Here I was just pondering what kind of mind set one of my characters would need to indulge casually in crime and then Scruffy Boyfriend moves in next door. Suddenly, I have a case study of how to do a drug deal one lawn over. This is fascinating stuff. Not to mention the fact that Scruffy Boyfriend is actually forcing Neighbor Girl into home maintenance. Up until recently, she’d simply been tossing bags of garbage over the back fence to pile by the garage door. Upon discovering this he freaked out and insisted she clean up because he assumed (correctly) that it was only a matter of time before a neighbor got annoyed and turned them in – can’t have city officials visiting your place of illegal business.
But there are moral considerations at stake. Like, is it wrong to turn him in once I’ve learned all I need for my story? Is it wrong to rename my wireless network FBI Surveillance Van to mess with their heads? Is it ok to not turn in Scruffy Boyfriend because I don’t think I can take Neighbor Girl’s dating anymore? If only I could skip to the end like a Choose Your Own Adventure to see how things turn out.
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series (Bulletproof Mascara, Compact With the Devil and Supporting the Girls) and the Tales From the City of Destiny Series. Catch up with her at www.bethanymaines.com or check out the new Carrie Mae youtube video.