Monday, January 16, 2012
It's a little scary here. There are six people that like to sit and smoke on the steps leading to my apartment. They use "fuck" and "shit" and "mother fucker" as if they were "and", "the" and "um". I like profanity in it's place. But the children are small and it's almost as if the parental vocabulary is so truncated that they've lost their choices. They are young and they are loud and they think nothing of letting their children run back and forth and back and forth and shake the windowswallsdoorsfloorglass. They smoke tobacco and herbs, and their beers litter the lawn while they BBQ in the common area between the three wings. They roll down the windows of their cars and MAKE me listen to their rap music at full volume.
I am afraid, and it makes me hibernate. I've never been a particularly fearful person, but suddenly I am as unsure of others as I am of myself. This is no time to hide. I hide well. Why practice that more?
I went out on the small balcony to fill a small pot with soil. I have seeds from Marion that I am suppose to plant in Spring. (It is 80 degrees. Does that constitute Spring? I don't know when to plant. Help me Marion.) Four men come out onto the adjacent balcony...it is their women littering my stairway. BE BRAVE BE BRAVE BE BRAVE. Just like a kidnapped victim who tries to let the captor know they have a name, they are a person, they have children.
"Who actually lives in this apartment?" I ask over the balcony.
A man's smile fades. He thinks I am going to lecture, or critique, or judge, or complain. I can tell. I am learning to read body language better than words.
"I do" he says.
"My name is Annie. Nice to meet you" I say, holding out my hand. He shakes it. His name is Greg. He is smiling broadly now and missing a tooth.
I walk out front onto the steps. A woman spans the entire width of my stairway. If she did not move, I would not be able to get from my apartment to my car.
"Which of you actually lives in this apartment?" I ask again.
"I do" smiles a woman.
"I'm Annie. I just met your husband Gary."
"Greg" she says. I tell her my memory sucks. That I have a hard time listening. I am rarely present. She moves for me. She smiles. She asks me if I know her daughter. I do...she was the first person to say hello here. She is seven, likes flowers and the color pink.
The guys are swearing like sailors on the balcony. I cannot drown it out. Their music is not to my liking. But...I am less afraid than when we were all nameless.
I want them to be quiet.
I have no control.
It's hard for me.