Where the Buffalo roams

June 3, 2010

The Buffalo does not like to wear shirts. That is the first thing I learned about the Buffalo when I moved into this apartment approximately one year ago. There is no air conditioning in this building, you see, and the Buffalo is “a fat bastard,” as he once described himself to me whilst clipping his toenails at the dining table in our community kitchen. He has diabetes and high blood pressure. He needs to keep his core temperature cool. This is why he does not like to wear shirts. Some people in the past have complained about the Buffalo walking around shirtless, but the Buffalo does not understand these complaints. This apartment building is the Buffalo’s home, after all, and if the Buffalo wants to walk around half naked in his own home, well then the Buffalo believes he should be allowed to do so. If the other tenants don’t like it, well, too bad. It’s a free country. Besides, the Buffalo has a note from his doctor.

The Buffalo is my neighbor. He lives three doors down from me and he is a shut-in. The only time he ever leaves the apartment is to do laundry or purchase groceries. Otherwise, he is here. All the time.

We call him the Buffalo because he believes he was a buffalo in a former life. Here is how he came to that realization: he was listening to the “Dances with Wolves” soundtrack one day and he got a very strong feeling that he was a buffalo in a former life. The end.

One day shortly after I moved into the building, I was cooking a pot of rice in the kitchen and the Buffalo entered in a state of excitement. He held out what appeared to be a brown rock the size of a tangerine and insisted that I guess what it was. I guessed that it was a rock.

“No,” said the Buffalo. “It’s a piece of petrified buffalo feces.”

Let me remind you that we were in the kitchen and I was cooking food.

“How do you know it’s petrified buffalo feces?” I asked while putting a lid on my pot of rice. “It looks like a rock.”

Apparently, this was the wrong question to ask. The Buffalo’s face darkened and he proceeded to tell me all the reasons why this thing that he was holding in his hand was indeed a chunk of excrement.

“Okay, but how do you know it came from a buffalo? Couldn’t it have just as easily come from an elk or a deer?”

Also the wrong question. I received another long lecture on the color and texture of buffalo excrement as compared to the color and texture of elk and deer excrement. Apparently, only an idiot would think that buffalo excrement resembled elk or deer excrement. Their dietary habits were completely different. Also, was I forgetting that the Buffalo had been a buffalo in a former life? And if you were a four-legged bovine that had been reincarnated as a human man, don’t you think you’d recognize the excrement of your own species? Well, don’t you?

The Buffalo plays the Freddie Mercury power ballad “We are the Champions” at full volume at least once a day.

The Buffalo spends at least four hours a day in the bathroom.

The Buffalo only eats Hungry-Man dinners.

The Buffalo believes he has telekinetic powers. One day, when he was a young man living in Florida, the Buffalo was sitting on the couch watching television. The family dog scratched on the front door and whined, indicating that it wanted to be let outside. The Buffalo did not want to get off the couch. Therefore, he concentrated very hard and suddenly the door sprang open on its own. The dog ran outside. The Buffalo concentrated again and the door swung shut again. This is why the Buffalo believes he has telekinetic powers.

The Buffalo wears a straw hat whenever he leaves the apartment building.

The Buffalo organizes his soup cans according to size and color.

The Buffalo watches reruns of “Unsolved Mysteries” every day.

The Buffalo was not breast fed as a child. About a month ago, I was in the kitchen minding my own business when the Buffalo entered the room and started pouring a gallon of milk down the sink.

“You want some milk?” he asked me.

“No, thank you,” I said.

“This is two percent; that’s why I’m dumping it out,” he explained. “I only drink whole milk.”

“That’s nice,” I said.

“I drink about a gallon of milk a week. I’m not sure why I drink so much milk. I think maybe it’s because I wasn’t breast fed as a child.” He then exited the kitchen without saying goodbye.

The Buffalo thinks he has social anxiety disorder.

The Buffalo thinks he has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The Buffalo thinks he has a ghost in his room.

The Buffalo does not have a job. He receives seven-hundred dollars a month from the government because of his “social problems” and that’s what he lives on. Sometimes the Buffalo uses his food stamps to buy me canned pears. I don’t know why. I have never expressed a preference for canned fruit of any kind, much less pears. However, I accept them graciously whenever they are offered because, to be perfectly honest, I am a little bit afraid of the Buffalo and I want to keep on his good side. I want to be a good neighbor. I want to build a relationship based on friendship and trust. Because, if he ever goes Jeffrey Dahmer on us, I am hoping he will remember the bond we’ve developed over canned pears and petrified feces and will refrain from turning my skull into an ashtray.

One Response to “Where the Buffalo roams”

  1. Shalauna Says:

    If this story is true, and I believe that it is, then I only have one thing to say…this could only happen to you Dale.

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