Keeping the Peace

When I wrote my last post (one week ago), I was NOT in a good place. Not one of despair but anger, frustration and impatience were in full force. I was like Chandler Bing in the classic “pivot” episode of Friends: shut up, Shut Up, SHUT UP!!  I had not worked basically the entire last quarter of 2014 and definitely have not worked the entire first quarter of 2015. Recruiters kept asking for my recent resume. I had stopped calling the Army’s prayer line because I was tired of hearing: hold on, there’s a blessing in the pressing and to trust in the Lord. Darkness was everywhere and I was drowning….whatever options I thought were available were not.  I had $24 in the bank. Roads were blocked and closed and it hit me: I am in this storm all alone. For real. I was driving myself crazy and we all know I don’t need help with crazy.

I woke up the next day in tears and cried most of the day. When I finally finished my head was hurting, snot was everywhere and I decided to just let.it.go….whatever happened, happened. I decided to just enjoy what is and fuck what would be for one week. No job searches, no ads…just me, deep house music and the Empire season finale. I was on a journey to find my peace. Off the grid…except my Panel does not know what “off the grid” means. At all. New Mommy is the biggest culprit. She starts my day with texts that read: are you still off the grid and then launches into chatter, gossip and jokes. Chef calls 3 times a day and if I don’t answer, he is calling and texting. Cuz is calling and emailing. Mini-Me is determined we are going to go out for pasta and catch up talk. Artsy Craftsy sent groceries (she may not have cash, but she has coupons and a credit card). It was nerve wracking for the first day but I know it is because they care and this is my support group. They don’t have answers or jobs to offer or money to give, but they are letting me know that I am not alone. They are sharing my battle with me, just like they share my personal/emotional battles.

So what happened during my week of fuckitol?  Let’s see: I read hopeful horoscopes that let me know I had been in worst positions and made it through…just have faith and patience. Saw some inspirational videos that spurred me to get back on the prayer line. I had two dates which allowed me to pay off my Comcast balance, put $200 in the bank and I have money for meds and miscellaneous stuff AND buy groceries.  Not really going to talk about the dates except to say one involved an enema, godawful smells and me leaving in the middle of it and the other dude who said he was 6 feet tall and 300 pounds turned out to be 5’7” and 400 pounds. He was very nice though…Enema Dude was scary looking and acting.

I got submitted to a job in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania which is in my ideal pay range; I won’t be able to save for the relocation because I will have to pay for lodging during the work week as well as rent on the apartment here in DC, BUT it would break the dry spell with a major player. I also have an interview next week for a position that the recruiter is desperate to fill and he thinks my experience will truly impress the client. Again, it is my desired wage range and it is local, so IF it comes through, I can finally start the relocation process. There was a potential job in Cleveland (I was like…Ohio??) which actually sounded great and some research on Cleveland made it seem a viable move, but there was no money to make the relocation. Which is probably for the best.

At some point during the week, I ventured out for cigarettes and was ambushed by Crazy Neighbor in the hallway. She said it was her birthday. Later that evening, I decided I wanted Chinese food and ordered some for CN for her birthday dinner. Honeybee went with me to deliver it; there were tears and we were told we were like CN’s family and her only friends. She insisted we stay and chat….and it went downhill from there. She insisted the white people were gassing her via her smoke detector (there is no ventilation system in this building) and that the gas was odorless but she could smell it. She wanted us to see stuff on the street but would not allow us to look out the blinds and then there was the story of her being chased by men who lived 10 blocks away and how she had to get all Jason Bourne and endure chases down metro platforms and ducking in and out of West End hotels. We managed to escape after an hour and RAN to our apartments.

The next day Crazy Neighbor showed up wanting to bum cigarettes…except she had MONEY. I told her to go buy the cigarettes next door from the gas station. She said she couldn’t because she had to watch her apartment…people were just ready to go in and leave more terrifying surprises for her. I told her to take the chance…I am a true cigarette smoker and I would rather have my smokes than money to go buy more. She did not take the hint. She came back the next day and I swear, it is at the point I feel I need to hide in my own home. I was talking to my baby sister about her baby (I am going to have a nephew!) and CN is knocking with the confidence one has when they KNOW you are home. I was pretty naked (topless) and I told her through the door I was busy. CN says it is an emergency. I put the chain on, hide behind the door and open it…not much. CN is trying to put her HAND through the opening, saying she needs cigarettes bad and will pay me $7 for 2. I am batting and swatting her hand and trying to push the door closed. I finally succeed and hear her saying on the other side of a closed door: girl, come down and see me later, okay?

Oh, paid the rent and was informed my rent has been raised. All I could do at that was laugh; first of all, good luck with THAT and secondly, I cannot even get angry. Name one person living in an almost million dollar neighborhood with all the amenities mine has whose rent has only been raised $50 in 11 years? So this was my week of fuckitol: it brought slight hope, lots of crazy and a resolve: the job with the wage I desire IS out there. And if I have waited it out this long, no way am I going to knuckle under to not even survive. I am surviving without the income now. Yes, we are back at the starting gate with the goal of needing $2000 in one month; no, we do not have Reliable One or Pudgy to pick up considerable slack but I can do this. I just proved it (while thanking God for small and unexpected blessings).

So starting Monday, back to the job search, back to the ads, and going on the interview. Back to the grind of trying to assimilate into the working world. Back to the prayer line for encouragement. Not going to drive myself crazy and when I am overwhelmed, going to take the step back that I need. If I lose everything else, I HAVE to keep my peace…it is a direct line to my sanity. I do have fun stuff planned: dinner with Downstairs Neighbor, lunch with Mini-Me and going to see The Breakfast Club (I even have a tee shirt!) on the big screen with Feisty One. I may even go to church. My mantra: I got this!

As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual….enjoy your day!

I’m Okay

A long time ago, I wrote a blog post titled I’m Fine…my thought process behind that post was that we all say I’m fine when we aren’t because it is easier to say that than to tell others what is really going on with us. I am at a point where I can tell folks what is not fine and what I am going through (especially via the written word) but I find it is NOT okay to be not fine. So now, I tell folks I’m okay even when I’m not. Because people can’t handle you not being okay. They really cannot.

My life is in some kind of spiral, downward all the way. I have no idea what I have done to reap this sort of karma or if it is a test or a storm or something from God…but can it PLEASE end now? I am going to tell you guys what my life is like RIGHT NOW and please know, I am not complaining. Just stating facts but I will say I am scared and frustrated and while I am somewhat powerless in the situation, I have to worry about it. They say why worry about what you cannot control, but I would be a fool not to worry. There is an option I could possibly grab hold of but I am stubborn with a plan and a lifestyle…I will take it if I have to, but hoping I don’t have to.

Crazy:  Going to start by saying the FB stalking is on hold; I have waaay too much going on to analyze the ever growing and possibly illegal population of Prince Charming’s Utah residence. But it is as if crazy is determined to stay in my life one way or another. I am pretty much being quiet while I process and try to figure out the current situation and Nipples (who is certifiably delusional and living in the past) is not liking that. I am bombarded via private FB messages and unwanted phone calls (damn you, Facebook Messenger) from the man, which I am ignoring. Which does not sit well with Nipples: the messages are alternating between guilt trips, his idea of persuasion and outright anger. I am told I am an uppity bitch who thinks she is better than, if he got me one time, he can (and will) get me again and how could I be tired of him already? His last message says I need to talk to someone and he needs to be that someone. IS.HE. SERIOUS? Did he not get the memo that we are done and have been for a very long time?

Closer to home, I have #CrazyNeighbor who is not comprehending the severity of my situation. She is still asking for cigarettes, food and wanting to take up my time with her theories and accusations of the white neighbors gassing her in her apartment and breaking in, yet they don’t take anything. They leave business cards. Yes, business cards. She is still knocking on my door all times of day and night, kinda like Sheldon looking for Penny on Big Bang Theory. I tell her (very patiently and slowly) that my resources are non-existent and I can no longer help her out the way I used to. She says to share my cigarettes with her and I can live with her. Can you picture that? I would be a crazier than hell and a zombie to boot as she never sleeps and the Early Morning Dance Party is in full effect.  I can see her wanting me to smell this and look at that 24/7. And for further entertainment, check out her latest note/message to the unseen “Them”.

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A Dry Well: When I told CN that my resources are non-existent that was not a joke. Unemployment Insurance dropped me like I was in a relationship with it…it allowed and accepted my claim, then three days later I get a Notice of Exhaustion dated 10 days earlier. So I have nothing resembling money coming in at all…my cash total is under $200. No bueno. The ads? I posted new pictures because I had a guy who actually sent.me.away because he said I was falsely advertising myself…I am not as big as my pictures suggest. I know I have lost weight and am down to my high school weight but believe this: I was fat in high school. For real. Now with the new pictures, I am getting responses that tell me they admire my new pics and they have saved them to jack off to. Gee, thanks. Not the sort of tribute I am looking for though. Pudgy is persona non grata over here….not sure if he got found out or if he just wanted to see me one last time, but since our reunion he has been ignoring my emails. Reliable One is also not an option; I am not in a place (in any kind of way) to stroke egos, play games or jump through hoops. If I come to you with my situation, either help or don’t…no ass kissing should be required.

Job Search: THIS…this is what has me frustrated, stymied and wanting it all to be over, however it ends. It is not the fact that I have not worked since Halloween and we are now approaching St. Patrick’s Day…it is the attitude of recruiters and potential employers. There is the guy who can get me $11/hour MAYBE if I have a DoD secret clearance; there is the recruiter who wants to submit me for a contract to perm assignment complete with very livable wage and health care. Only problem…he said he would submit my resume on Friday but never asked me to send him the resume. I can make a whopping $13/hour making coffee and let’s not forget the recruiter who argued with me about the $12/hour in Germantown and insisted I could make it there if I wanted since it’s only 6 miles away from DC. (For the record, it is 28 miles and not metro accessible) And the rejection letters telling me how impressive my experience is only to say they went with another candidate. The rejection, the disappointment, the what he fuck do I do now of it all is both tangible and palatable.

It has gotten to the point I am cursing folks out. For real. One recruiter called being all pretentious and supercilious telling me that if I would just lower my financial expectations, I could be working. RIGHT NOW. I told her I did not think it was wrong of me to ask for a survivable wage (it is evident with local agencies “livable wage” is a non-existent term)…I live alone, in the city and what she is offering is not going to cut it. THIS heifer says that is my problem and again, I need to lower my expectation. My response: “Bitch, the goal is to keep the roof over MY head, not yours.” I think that is one less agency I have to worry about. My mom is even helping with the search: she told her BFF about my dead ends and BFF sprang into action.

My mom’s best friend asked me to send her my resume….her husband had a colleague who was looking for a personal assistant who was well versed in customer service, MS Office suite and who was very organized. She said I would be a shoo-in for the position, had told the man about me and he was excited to see my resume…so I send the resume. Her husband goes to drop it off to the colleague…only to find out the man had dropped. dead on the job the day before. My life. RIGHT NOW.

Thinking Outside the Box: With all the doors being slammed in my face and the middle fingers being waved my way, it is no wonder I just want to be off the grid and figure something…hell, anything out. I wonder if this is God’s way of saying I could be the next Harry Potter Lady and I should just sit down and write a book but I don’t have the luxury of being a starving artist. I have bills, an uncooperative landlord and a disease that requires a lot of food and medication. Maybe I could publish a collection of blog posts to earn capital to tide me over while I write the book? Or my baby sister and I could collaborate on a restaurant/café…I am the cook and customer service guru and she knows the ins and outs of the food service industry. Whichever option I choose, it is going to require faith, determination and discipline…remember, my claim to fame (according to others) is strength. While I figure that out, I have applied (very informally) for a part time housekeeping position here in the neighborhood. Not sure if I will take it (not my skills set for real) but if it pays enough and allows me 2 days off a week, you can call me Hazel.

The Option: Mommy and Daddy are waiting with open arms and as much as I don’t want to go, I simply may have to. And it would be so easy to just scoop up the 2 months’ rent the landlord has yet to pick up (3 weeks after saying he is coming to get it…if he is waiting for February’s rent to somehow show up, he is going to be very disappointed), sell my furniture and roll out. At mommy’s house, I would not have to worry about rent, food or anything. I could write my book, I could strengthen my bonds with my parents and secure my place as their favorite…I could be taken care of.  Once I secured employment, my paycheck is mine but I would pay a couple of bills (my idea), buy my own food and save the rest for my car and housing. BUT….we would be three older folks with our own ways, schedules and lifestyles and my lifestyle would NOT be conducive/compatible with theirs. Believe me, truer words have never been spoken. Forget supplementing my income….I am used to cooking when I get hungry (and sometimes at odd hours), smoking indoors, walking around somewhat naked, sleeping in and when I am ready to go somewhere…I go. No ride required. The bottom line is I cannot live my life in their house and I like living my life, my way. I am a hostess, not a roommate. For real. Just going to do everything I can to not have to utilize my option. This just isn’t the way I was planning to go to North Carolina.

And this is my life. When I tell folks all that is going on, when I tell them: NO, I am not okay, I get questions. Questions like: what are you going to do? If I knew what I was going to do, I would be okay!! Or they say things like: I am going to check on you. I don’t need to be checked on….I need income. Steady, reliable income. My favorite: total (uncomfortable) silence and/or complete avoidance of the subject. THIS is why I say I am okay….because no one can help me with this. Not many can even relate to this. Oh, of course I hear I am not alone and I am not the only person going through or I am not the only one who has to pinch pennies. My response to this is: it isn’t a contest and not comparing my storm to anyone else’s… this is my storm…it is for me to weather. Let me. And this goes far beyond pinching pennies. I have no pennies to pinch and I refuse to lower financial standards…not paying someone to work for them.

So this is where I am at….please don’t take my silence and solitude personally. I hope you understand when I say I am off the grid. And I really, really hope you just leave it alone when I tell you I am okay. Somehow, some way I will get through this. Just don’t know how at the moment.

The Way Way Back

DC (the city) is experiencing a spring thaw of sorts after a late in season snow day…technically two snow days because no one really thought that going in on a two hour delay on a Friday was a good idea. I am telling you, the city is going to stop shutting down….I am guessing the feds and state governments do so in the interest of public safety and  to keep folks off the road and safe, but every time the news comes on, folks are out and about, sledding, snowball fighting, shopping, even bicycling! It would appear the snow only stops them from coming into work. Your bosses are watching. Folks are going to have start going into the office regardless of the weather, even if they have to do a Boston (jumping out of windows) to do so.

The   Original #SnowDay was spent playing games with Honeybee and Downstairs Neighbor. DN suggested the idea the day before and I was sooo into it. It was different, it was bonding and it would be fun! Then I woke up on the #snowday and all I wanted to do was sleep…that was nothing but laziness and lethargy which I soon shook off. We were going to play Clue and eat pizza and pasta.  I cooked the spaghetti, cleaned the apartment and couldn’t find Clue…no Colonel Mustard for me and that made me sad. But we played Cranium for about to turns and no one wanted to think that hard, so we did lightning rounds of Perfection, followed by two games of Trivial Pursuit 80s Edition. Talk about thinking hard….I think someone sat around and just made up questions out of thin air. It’s not the 80s I remember, at all.  Downstairs Neighbor says I was too helpful when asking the questions (I didn’t care who won) but the questions were obscure and the hour growing late. We were in a dead heat, three way tie and Downstairs Neighbor was the winner. It was a day of good fun, good food and good friends. We have got to do this again.

#CrazyNeighbor did not come (she was not invited and even if she were, Downstairs Neighbor is white. CN would decline anyway) but Honeybee and I made sure to divide the leftover pizza and chicken from #Gameday with her. Trust,  she is still around…she needs cigarettes and meat to go with her can of beans.  She needs to borrow my can opener to get the beans.  #CrazyNeighbor’s SIM card for her phone came but she is still asking to use my phone, saying she has no minutes and her service is disabled. Not to mention knocking on my door waking me up to update me on even more in government tactics and asking where I have been when I don’t answer. This chick needs an ad, housewares, medication and a support group.

Onto today’s post…I have an ex trying to come back into my life. Let me say this first: it may take me forever and a day to learn lessons and get over someone, but once I do…I do NOT want you back. There is only one ex who still has half a chance over here and we all know who that is. No worries though…not only is Prince Charming NOT looking my way, it isn’t too much longer until he is banished to the Enchanted Forest forever and for good. No, this ex goes aaaallll the way back in the day…over 20 years (but he swears it is just 15 years ago…yes, he is counting) and this is a dude I KNEW I was better than even in the midst of a rapidly escalating addiction. Not saying I am all that but we all know when it comes to men, my taste is in my ass. I dug deep up in there for this one.

The man is 4 years older than me and he has a huge mole in the middle of his forehead, kind of like a third eye or a misplaced nipple. I choose to go with misplaced nipple and his blog name shall be Nipples.  There isn’t a lot I can give you as far as backstory seeing as I don’t remember a lot about the 90s. It was the decade I achieved Rising Star status in the world of addiction and the highlight of the entire decade was I ended up in prison. I was caught in front of a house I had broken into (stolen good galore in the back seat) because the car locked up due to lack of water and other vital fluids; instead of carting what I could and making tracks, I chose to smoke an 8ball and wait for the owners to come home to call me a tow truck. It was a great idea at the time.

In any case, when I met Nipples, he was an overweight alcoholic who was still hung up on the chick he was tricking with. Not sure what happened between them, but it involved following her to a crack house, pushing her down some stairs and ended with her slicing his throat so deeply, she cut his vocal cords. That chick was ruthless…she also set a guy on fire for putting his hands on her. Nipples could still speak but it was raspy as hell. I was an addict in denial who was a productive working citizen and dutiful daughter Monday-Friday. It was not a match made in heaven, there were no butterflies, no instant attraction. We both saw something we could use in each other. For him, I was generous (he worked sporadically and I had a steady income and did not mind cooking, cleaning, and doing his laundry…hey, I am always a good girlfriend) and for me, I had a man who adored me two days out of the week (he was still seeing Cutthroat during the week while I was working and thought I did not know), who would help support my habit and I had a place where I could smoke freely and not have to share one crumb.

It was a stormy relationship at best…we fought physically, were abusive verbally and it was just a mess and a wreck. This was probably the most emotionally unhealthy I have ever been….my relationship with Nipples was followed by the even more physically abusive relationship which was then followed by my personal decline preceding rock bottom. He stalked me, wanted to know where I was every minute, and followed me wherever I went when I spent the weekends with him. He threw beer on me, belittled me in front of his housemates and sex with him was something I had to steel myself for. He would even call my parents and tell them about my drug habit. One Thanksgiving he was invited to my parents’ home for dinner; we fought and yelled so loudly, my parents asked him to leave but not before I pulled a knife on him and threatened to finish what Cutthroat started. My parents no longer have company over. For anything.

But, life goes on and I forgot about Nipples soon after our breakup and the man had not crossed my mind at all since we last laid eyes on each other, so imagine my surprise when he found me on Facebook (I swear, it’s a worldwide phonebook and pretty much everyone is listed). I debated accepting the request but figured enough time had gone by, he was probably married with kids and we would catch up. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

First, he is still not good looking….he has lost weight and now the mole is more prominent than ever. He says he has stopped drinking (but his personality is as ugly as ever and now dull to boot) and had had three heart attacks. He is on disability and living with his father in NC…not Raleigh, thank God. Second, he is still stuck in the 90s. He has no idea why we broke up, I would have been better off staying with him, and he was not abusive to me…IF he was, I brought it on myself by pissing him off. And I especially pissed him off when I accused him of being with Cutthroat. (Here’s an idea: maybe if you WEREN’T seeing her, I would not have accused you) Who do I live with, do I miss him, do I think about him and if I don’t, that means he was never important to me. He wants me all to himself. Oh, and he was STILL talking about Cutthroat…she passed away New Year’s Day of breast cancer but he not only spoke of her as if she were still here, her name was in all caps (CUTTHROAT).

Nipples has no life….he sleeps all day and watches little television. Every.time you ask the man what he’s doing or what he did with his day, the answer is the same: chillin’.  He does not go out to movies, museums or comedy clubs. Going out to eat is someone’s drive thru. And he seems to resent me having something of a life…when I say I will be back later, he asks where am I going and says I need messenger so we can keep in constant contact. Why do I want to go out, why do I want to socialize? Dude….if one has to explain, you are too far gone. Weird thing is, I absolutely hate the fact that this man is so insecure, needy and possessive but these traits were fine in other men. Prince Charming had control issues and possessiveness out the whazoo and I was happy to indulge them. Love is stupid as hell. For real.

Well, after the bombardment of a long ago past, I told Nipples that we would not be rekindling anything…we have both grown (at least one of has) and moved on. He says he could stimulate me and rock my world. I told him no, he could not…not then, not now; he comes back with I used to like it. Someone give me an Oscar and a porn star award please. I told him that was then, this is now. I mean, does this man not know I don’t even date black men anymore? Hell, I don’t date anyone anymore….job, rent and Raleigh are what I am focusing on this year. A relationship is not on the horizon (I am actually glad I don’t have a man in my life…for real), especially rekindling one with an abusive ex who is still stuck 20 years back.  I have not defriended him yet, but I have stopped talking. What’s the point? A man who has nothing to offer but awful sex and a guilt trip….and he thinks I would be better off with him….how? My exes: the Winner’s Circle of Losers.

Okay, going to wrap this up and let you all know I will be off the grid for awhile. I got my Notice of Exhaustion from UI today…except it is dated 3/3/15 so not even sure if I am getting a payment this week. My situation just went from critical to straight fucked and I have no idea what I am going to do. I have revised my resume, registered with damn near every agency in town and applying to at least 10 viable jobs a day. Nothing. Pudgy is not an option because since our reunion, he has fallen off the face of the earth. I just have no idea and need time to think and figure stuff out.

As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual, enjoy your day. I’ll be back…not sure when but before they cut off my internet.

All Kinds of Crazy

This post was supposed to be about my landlord, but it isn’t. Instead, I am going to bombard you with highlights of never before seen crazy. Crazy that laughs at Sister Someone/Brother Everything, Prince Charming and the Mormons and Him and the Hooker. It isn’t  man related crazy…my only non-Panel male contact was the weekend when Hangout Buddy dragged me out the house for some much needed socialization and interaction. Did you know outside feels different from inside? I had forgotten. It is not sexually related crazy…after the Surprise Crossdresser last week, everyone has been either a flake or lonely. The internet is a lonely, lonely place sometimes and apparently I am the Friend of the Friendless. This crazy is scary and I can totally see a Single White Female situation happening here; all I am going to say is stay tuned to Channel 4 news because when shit pops off, I am only speaking with Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler.

If you are my Facebook friend, you already know I have a #CrazyNeighbor. Actually, I have two but the one I am referring to is the chick who leaves the strange messages taped to her door for folks only she knows about and can see. The #CrazyNeighbor is SO crazy, the other #crazyneighbor won’t even associate with her. It. Just. Got. Real. The woman has lived here over a year, but no one had actually seen her or talked to her….there had been sightings and the notes and stories.  She was the Urban Myth of my building. She was rumored to knock on people’s doors during the day and attempt to jimmy your locks with a screwdriver when there was no answer. The notes on her door are legendary yet no one ever saw or heard her put them up, but the Early Morning Oldies Dance Party? The entire second floor and all of Main Street knew about those. She says the loud music was to attract the government’s attention to let them know she was on to them. She knows they have followed her and are responsible for her being put out of her last 5 places. (Section 8 vouchers….Uncle Sam’s GPS)

At this point, I have to tell you this is going to be a longish post and you should grab snacks, drinks and aspirin. Until now, my dealings with #CrazyNeighbor had been limited…I would see her hanging out of her window every once in awhile when I was headed to work but that was it. Until she knocked on my door last week looking for a cigarette. Yet another reason to give up smoking. What has kicked off has me wondering if Rod Serling lives in the building. What should have taken 3 minutes tops turned into a 2 hour long visit where Crazy Neighbor went between my peephole and my kitchen window to see who was watching her and I will explain all in a minute but can I say right here and now I see why Christians say they will pray for you when one is in need…give a person rope, they wanna be a cowboy. #CrazyNeighbor takes the rope and wants to be the cowboy in the rodeo riding the bull.

So the chick asks me for a cigarette and me being a gracious hostess, I invite her in and give her TWO cigarettes. Not because I am that nice but because I didn’t want her coming back for another one. #CrazyNeighbor looks around and says how nice my place is (what she meant was I actually had furniture) and proceeds to walk around. I was miffed but since you can see practically every inch of the apartment from the center of the main room, didn’t get too bent out of shape. But #CN kept going between the peephole in the front door and my kitchen window. NO idea what she was looking at because the kitchen faces an empty courtyard and the peephole sees whoever is on the other side of the door…no peripherals. Then she asked for a light (I though the cigarettes were going with her!), sits down and starts talking. And talking.

The first thing she told me is that she grew up on Montana Avenue, back in the day. DC folks know what that means and it explains a lot. This chick has been crazy for awhile. Secondly, she tells me the Navy Yard Shooter was a good friend of hers (she called him by his first name), he had called her several times before the shooting saying “they” were in his head and that they are both victims of gangstalking. She says the government is “microwaving” them and they, among many, are “targeted individuals”. Youtube it! she says and is staring between me and my laptop, waiting for me to do so. I swear, she started tapping her foot. I tell her that her theory is interesting but I am a little busy at the moment and usher out the door. She returns 15 minutes later asking to use my phone as the government has taken hers. She had the numbers of important people who were going to blow the whistle on their nefarious scheme and so they either took it from her apartment or she lost it 6 streets over…depends on which personality is telling the story at the time.

I so did not want this woman using my phone and told her if she was a targeted individual, I don’t want my number or residence associated with her but she assured me she was calling a friend of hers to bring her something. I still had reservations but when this chick goes off (no if in it), I may be spared because I was nice to her. Within 5 minutes, she had made three phone calls: one did not answer but the other two folks hung up as soon as she identified herself. Again, a 5 minute visit turned into almost 2 hours, complete with the circuit between peephole and window. This time, she tells me about her hatred of white people. Now, will admit right here and now, I am a latent equal opportunity racist but only when pissed and disliking people but for the most part, I love all folks. Especially white folks….I have the hots for their men.

#CrazyNeighbor has a deep seated dislike for white people and calls them not nice names and has stated on more than occasion she refuses to work because she does not want the white man’s job nor his money. And she hates money because it has faces of white men on it. (Personally, Ben Franklin is my favorite dead white man) However, the woman is crazy, not stupid and knows that money is a necessity, so she performs massages for money (Lord, we have something in common) and folds her money so the white faces are on the inside. She is also homophobic (at least when it comes to men on men) but likes to touch my hair and always wants to massage my shoulders.

The visit ended with a trip to her apartment. I absolutely adore her apartment and I want it. Badly. I think coveting is a sin but at least it is a sin I don’t have to get naked for. Between the layout and the lack of balcony (outdoor space in real estate language), her studio is almost twice the size of mine. She faces the front and has an incredible view of the Brookland and ArtsWalk signs and before the 7-11 became a reality, she could see the Basilica. Her kitchen….it makes me happy and wet….totally upgraded, glass backsplash, huge, roomy cabinetry in dark wood, an incredible gas stove/oven (she has never used it!) and granite countertops. Her bathroom is like something out of House Hunters: Hotel Edition with its oversized pedestal sink, intricate tile and ceramic tub.

However, for all its perks, plusses and ability to make me happy…something is not right about that apartment. First, the landlord (and he may be all that’s wrong with it)….Crazy Neighbor has sockets and outlets hanging out of the wall by thin threads; her deadbolt is not in a north/south direction. It isn’t even in an east-west direction….if the lock were a clock it would be stuck at 4:20. No Bueno. Her tub leaks and the wooden venetian blinds are warped. She says she has told him and showed him and his response is he will fix t when she moves out. Previous renters, while not as crazy, have been phantoms….personally, I have only seen two of them (total of once each) and no one stays long in that unit.

So, for a couple of days, #CrazyNeighbor stays in her unit and leaves me and mine alone. I did start taking her food when I had extra because she has absolutely nothing in there to eat. Her meals consist of soda, cookies and potato chips from the gas station. And that is where I made my mistake….in being nice to her, in having some sympathy for her situation (financial at least), she has labeled me her friend and her first act to celebrate our friendship was to pound on my door at 2am. I open my door to see her shivering, crying and bundled up in winter hat and coat, crying that the military (apparently there is a base right across the street from me) was using ELF (electronic low frequency) beamed into her apartment via the STREETLIGHT outside her window. The ELF is what was warping her blinds and it was burning her skin. There is a chip in her head that is talking too loud and every white neighbor in the building (which is everyone except for me, Honeybee and the Electrician) have been PLACED here by the government to bully and abuse her into leaving. The government was trying to draw her out into the open and the #1 White Neighbor behind it all? None other than the Crazy Old White Man who lives below me…and that is when I blew my top.

First, Crazy Old White Man is my favorite neighbor…hands down. He says nothing about my yelling, screaming and cursing when I am hurt and crazy over men. He says nothing when I run my vacuum at 6am, he ignores my loud, orgasm induced screams and he said absolutely nothing when my bathtub fell in on him. Besides the fact the man has been here at least 20 years, he will not step foot in anyone’s home and does not allow you access into his…he has his own conspiracy theories going on. So I had to break it down to #CrazyNeighbor that NO ONE in the building was out to get her, the letters of complaint were about her loud music and that was it. She says the letters stated she smoked weed….she may (I have never smelled it), but since we have been housing Jamaica in our basement unit for the past ten years, not sure the little bit of pot she could afford would bother anyone. She says the white folks said she has company all hours of the night…I have no idea because there are times I am busy with my own late night company/late hours and no one has run into anyone coming or going. I told her to take her paranoid ass the hell home and LEAVE.ME.ALONE.

She was back the next day. Frankly, I could totally be #TeamCrazyNeighbor because I feel she really means no and causes no harm. Yes, she is a paranoid schizophrenic but she is lonely and in need of a friend and understanding. She doesn’t have a lot (her apartment is basically empty save a sofa bed, a window fan and a recliner) nor a lot of money or food and apparently no social skills. Being neighborly goes a long way. Don’t get me wrong, she is crazier than a bedbug with her paranoia, phobias and passive aggressive racism but basically she is harmless. I don’t think she does drugs (but she does need meds), is quieter than a mouse (she no longer treats the second floor to the Early Morning Dance Party) but my issue is she is too needy. I try to help who I can when I can (remember, my resources are critically limited) but she needs things ALL.THE.TIME. Maybe I am not a good person, but I help when I feel like it.  I don’t always feel like it. I can’t be your ONLY friend because Dottie doesn’t like people and loves solitude.

Since putting her on restriction (she actually wanted us to have meals together), the woman has taken to spying on me… oh, the irony of a stalker being stalked. I swear she stares out her peephole all day waiting for a glimpse of me. When I leave out to take down the trash, collect mail or knock on Honeybee’s door, she darts out her door to corner me and tell me the latest in government tactics. When I left out to go on my outing with Hangout Buddy, she was in the window telling me to have a good time. She has tracked me down and found me at Honeybee’s. No lie, she told Honeybee I had to be at her place because she never saw me leave the building and did not answer my door…I must’ve slipped over when she went to the bathroom. When I came back from the grocery store, she was looking out the window and came down to see what food I had…no offers to help bring the food up. I think she may hang out in the hall outside my door because lately, as soon as I get on the phone, she knocks. I am more frustrated and impatient than scared and it seems that telling her off does not faze her. My crazy has no power with her.

So this is the tale of #CrazyNeighbor…I know I was thinking some crazy would alleviate some of the stress I am having/feeling but was hoping for a flaky, lying, cute- to- me white guy whose great kisses belied his lack of sexual prowess. I have not seen or heard from #CN in a full 24 hours so I have her resting up for more sneak attacks. Thanks for sticking with me and reading all the way through….going to clean up some and relax the rest of the evening. Between #CrazyNeighbor, a potential new “date” whose approach is very much like that of PC with the texting and job applications (12 in two days)…a sister is wiped. Maybe I will re-watch the How to Get Away with Murder finale….Annalise and Frank are total badasses.  I will return soon with new posts and potential updates.

As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual…enjoy your day!

Dark Places

Today’s post is going to be a bit melancholy. I am posting three writings that came about when I was in dark places and spaces. I posted two on a Facebook page I created, Glued Together; it is a pretty quiet, private page where I go to be totally, randomly me without family, friends and coworkers to ask and question. A place where it is okay to NOT be okay. But now feel ready to share the darkness with the world. Because it’s okay to go to dark places…sometimes life will drive you there. Two rules: call someone to let them know where you are and don’t linger. Please don’t linger and know that someone shares your struggles.  

(1) I am empty. Like a parched shell of who I used to be.
There are no tears, there is no laughter.
No love. No hate. No hope.
There is no one person or thing to blame.
I have simply been used…used until there is nothing useful left.
I have been fed too many lies, believed too many promises.
My diet has been bitter. There is no balance.
Too much struggle, never carried. I can no longer stand.
I no longer live, I don’t even survive. I exist. Barely.
But death is too much effort. My strength is gone.
I am crushed by disappointments.

(2) My life has not been easy. Some may call it hard.
My childhood did not have a silver spoon but my adulthood had a crack pipe.
Rapes, beatings, homelessness, all levels of abuse.
Ugly men, bad sex, lies, broken promises, trampled trust.
There were days darker than midnight in a coal mine and nights alive with stars and fireworks that shone brighter than the sun.
But I am still here….still kind, still caring, still with empathy and sympathy.
Not as trusting, faith-filled or hopeful, but they linger. Like traces of dust.
I sign my name in the dust.

(3) My love for you was bigger than the Hollywood sign and brighter than the lights of Las Vegas.
I gave you so much of me…I stripped away the masks and exposed my soul. But it wasn’t enough.
At least not for me. It may have been far too much for you. Which is funny.
Because I never cleared my heart out for you…I rearranged the baggage to make room.
I stacked past hurts and angers and pains in a corner to give the illusion of an empty heart, ready and waiting to be filled.
You filled my mind, my thoughts…but it was all an illusion. I filled my head with thoughts of what could be.
I closed my eyes and ears to red flags, pleas to flee and chose instead to listen to what could be.
Waiting, hoping that what could be would not break my heart but demolish it so that it could be built anew.
Clean slate, blank slate where only your footprints would show. Instead what could be imprinted you on my soul.
I will keep you safe there.