Written 06/21/11 after work.
I cannot write. I am blocked by my senses.
As I scribble these words, my head is pounding. I am nauseated by the stink of cigarettes from the patio next door. My foot is tingling from being sat on for too long.
I am enjoying this time. I am enjoying sitting on my patio, able to see the sunshine but guarded by the shadow of my building from getting too hot. The breeze dances through the leaves, rustling them ever so gently. The birds provide background music to this (mostly) quiet afternoon.
The silence is broken by her emphysemic cough.
Hacking up a lung.
And then the nauseating smell becomes stronger, my head throbs harder.
I close my eyes.
This is not where I should be.
And I can feel the walls of her house moving closer to mine, until it is as if we share more than just one small wall. Even locking myself inside, away from the beautiful weather, wouldn’t help. I’d still hear her, grumbling in between drags.
My head – I can feel my pulse in my forehead.
It doesn’t even matter that I used to be a smoker. I don’t judge her for smoking. I’ve been there. Fine. But every five minutes? Her lungs aren’t the only ones suffering from her addiction.
When T is home, we don’t spend much time on our little patio, or on the grass outside our apartment. We go to the playground over by the mailboxes, or a park, the river, anywhere away from our own home because I want to protect his little lungs from her poison. I want to protect his heart from her venom.
She is an evil old lady, and she makes me hate my little home.
I used to wish that she would move away. If I was having a particularly bad day, I’d even wish she would keel over or be taken to a “home”.
Now, I just hope that I can have the strength to survive just a little longer.
She gives me one more reason why Reno not having a law school is a positive thing for my life.
LSAT, October. Applications due, March. Semester starts, August/September.
A year from now, if not sooner, I will be headed off to Las Vegas, Seattle, Davis, wherever they will accept whatever scores I receive. I will pack up my home, my life, and I will look back at my life in Reno, my life in this condo, and I will have so many happy memories. So much love from this place that is leading me to a better future.
And I will flip my middle finger to her as I drive off, laughing hysterically.
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