I live in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Dayton; a mid-size, mostly moribund city. I'm a quiet person. I go to work, come home, take a nap, make dinner, read, eat, sleep, shit, write. I do not usually disturb other people. This is not so with my neighbors. They seem to have incorporated some highly irritating thing into their daily routines. Mostly, it involves dogs. They like to have a lot of dogs and the dogs like to bark. One family has a dog that barks constantly. I'm not exaggerating. Like breathing or something. And it's a kind of whiny bark too. Not normal. Another neighbor has a dog that barks at me through the window when I'm getting in and out of my car. Yet another neighbor has two giant dogs that spend a lot of time in the front yard even though they have a fenced in back yard. This, I've determined, is solely to irritate me. There's a duplex. One side is vacant and the people who just moved in on the other side like to leave the door open and blare rap music. I hate what passes for rap music these days. It's crap and it hurts my soul. Then there's a guy who lives behind me who comes out every night to beat on his trashcan for about ten minutes. It always makes me think someone is pounding on our door and then I remember, "No, just the asshole beating on his trashcan." I've watched him do this. It's like he's emptying something but I can't figure out what it is or what needs emptied every day.
Anyway, I've decided my annoying habit is going to be scraping the sidewalk with a metal shovel everyday for fifteen minutes or so. This will serve absolutely no purpose but to make noise and irritate those around me. I will either be shot at or feel such a gratifying sense of pleasure in knowing that, finally, I fit in. Of course, if my theory of me being invisible is correct, then no one will even notice. Then I will feel very defeated.