Sunday, May 9, 2010
I’m tasting a bit of lemon in my mouth. I haven’t eaten any lemons. Yet I’m reminded of the old adage: ‘When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade.’
It’s such a feel-good thing. When life gets you down, you pick yourself up, take the pieces, and build something better with the situation that’s before you.
Trying . . . I’m trying . . . but it can get so hard.
The problems right now does not deal with the work I’m doing. In fact, I would be doing great right now without the added distractions I’m going through.
Lemons are falling from the trees, making me stumble down life’s path
I try to stay away from posting too much of my personal life on this blog, unless it directly involves writing something for my memoir or it deals with an absence from my postings. This post involves the later part.
Lemon juice squirts into the eye. It stings. Hold on, let me wipe away a bit with a wet tissue
I’ve been having a few problems with where I live. I have a nice apartment, with only me and a downstairs tenant who just moved in during the middle of April. I never met them, but I’ve become very acquainted with them, in a not-so-nice way.
Lemons pound on the head. So hard. They hurt
I live in the second floor apartment; they live on the first floor. There is a large partition jutting from the side of the kitchen wall, I assume it is for the other tenant’s furnace duct. We can hear each other through the vent. I can hear them laughing, talking, and coughing (I guess they are very heavy smokers who cough every 5 minutes). They can hear me while I wash the dishes, take a shower, flush my toilet, or as my refrigerator hums when it turns on.
I’ve never complained over the noises they make. They complain constantly about mine. There’s not much either of us can do. It is a structural problem. But the other tenants blame me for living in my apartment. We both signed 1-year leases. I can’t break mine without paying the remaining amount in full. I don’t believe their financial situation is any better.
They tried to break into my apartment early Sunday morning at 1:30am. The man had it planned out. He would wait until 11:30pm Saturday and break in. It was going to be the last night to deal with the noises. He also wanted my computer. Told his friend he would “get up in there” for it.
How do I know all of this? I already told you. The wall duct. I heard him plan everything out. I didn’t say he was the brightest of criminals. I’ve never known one to go outside, talking loudly on his cell phone about it in the busy street.
Squeezing the juice from the lemons is hard. The peel is rough. I’ve lost my taste for lemons a long time ago. I wish for something sweeter, something better, for my life
He waited until the time, but saw my apartment light still on. I was still awake, typing away at my keyboard. I heard him walking around outside, in the rain, coughing. Then he went back inside his place and told someone (his girlfriend or wife?) that my light was still on. “Have to wait. Wait until after she goes to sleep.” That’s fine for him. He hummed a song to himself, getting giddy about it.
I rolled my eyes at his audacity/ego/self-assurance and continued typing.
I know. You’re wondering why I didn’t call the police. I have no proof of what he said. It’s the proverbial, “he said/she said,” argument. Now you’re asking me why not call anyway. At least the police will know then.
It’s not that simple. Pittsburgh is strange when involving the police. About ten years ago my apartment was broken into. I talked to them, and they basically said there wasn’t much they could do about it. My older sister has lived in different areas of Pittsburgh. She’s been burglarized close to 4 times. The police never catch the person, even when she knew who did it and told them. Once, they didn’t even bother taking a report. ‘We have better things to do,’ seems to be their mentality.
April 17th, her apartment was robbed AGAIN. Yes, April. Of this year. Last month.
I needed proof before even thinking about dialing 911. I have none. I told people, friends . . . co-workers . . . about the tenants. I’ve even shown photos.
The time approached midnight. I settled in to sleep. I turned on the stairwell light outside my apartment door, so the guy wouldn’t miss the note I wrote and taped to my door.
What note? That was the question everyone thought immediately, wasn’t it? I had taped a note on my door for the man to read. Basically, I told him that I could hear him just as clearly through the walls as he could hear me, his sarcastic remarks, his crude jokes, and his plans of breaking into my apartment. I said in the note that his name is the first I’ll drop to the police if I found anything missing.
I’ve made a quart of lemonade. Does anybody want any? I’m not really in the mood for a drink
I was almost asleep when I hear the tenant’s apartment door close (yes, I can even hear that through the walls). He happily made his way to the door leading into the stairway. He popped open the bottom lock, very professionally. I’m not sure how he did it without bending the wood frame or busting the knob. I heard a door shut. My drowsy mind tried to convince me that it wasn’t the tenant - just the drivers who parked along the street to eat at the restaurants or drink at the bars. They parked along my street nightly. I think they believed their cars were safe there since it’s right across from a bank.
Yeah, safe . . .
I don’t hear the creak of steps. I don’t hear anyone outside my door. All I heard was a soft thump of the bottom door closing again. Then a shout erupted into the watery night.
I guess he read my note.
It has been quiet all Sunday. I haven’t heard one complaint from them. I haven’t heard one cough, or laugh, or anything. The most I heard was a woman’s voice first saying, “She’s got a Facebook page!” (So? Who doesn’t?) The man made some comment about my hair. Then, later that afternoon, I heard a woman saying, “You gotta do what you gotta do,” after I heard some young teenagers mess with the rusty fire escape on the other side of the building.
Are more lemons about to fall on me?