Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Crazy How Sane I Am

A thin wall of plywood separates the neighbor's garage from mine.  It gives the illusion of privacy, but the truth is, I know when they decide to occupy that space on the other side of the wall. I can hear everything that goes on over there as long as I am standing in my own garage.

I'm not normally a nosey neighbor, but I am privy to those times Yessica  has gotten frustrated with Little Max and Sweet Ana. The children will be banished to the garage for an afternoon where they'll spend their time playing pirates and searching for treasure.

The music of the occasional midnight soiree drifts over to my side, sometimes low and melodic, sometimes booming. Sometimes I'm a forgiving neighbor. Sometimes, not.

I know when Jorge sneaks away from the family for a quick joint. The sickly scent of marijuana cannot be contained to one unit. It permeates my world as well as theirs. Once, I became so frustrated with the assault, I stood in my own garage and boldly announced to the unseen offender that I was allergic to marijuana (which is true). Some scuffling and a muted "Oh shit," could be heard, but I've never again had to suffer second-hand "euphoria."

I am fully aware that my neighbors will always be "in" on whatever I decide to do out there. The truth is, I don't do much more than park the car or search for a screwdriver, but that is beside the point.  I've never had any expectation of privacy in my garage. That is part of life when you have condemned yourself to live in a duplex like me.

This morning, I moseyed into the garage and immediately halted at the sound of soft cries. At first, I thought one of my kids was out there. My heart jumped a little at the idea of one of my little ones being hurt and alone in the corner of a cold, smelly, dark garage. But, silly me, my children aren't small. They are grown, and completely capable of finding their way to the door or screaming for help.

It was Yessica, the neighbor. The mom.

She was having a good old-fashioned cry over there. I recognized it for what it was, because I've done it myself. All women do it. It is as necessary to us as breathing. We need to get a little crazy to preserve our sanity. Men don't understand it, but women get it. I've never had my cry in the garage of course, but maybe this was Yessica's only option for retreat.

I don't know if she'd heard me come into my garage, but she didn't give any indication of it. I wanted to back up and gently close the door, but I was frozen to the spot. I felt like an intruder into what was obviously a private moment. Her soft cries quickly turned to heavy sobs.

My heart went out to her. Should I say something? Should I ask her if something was wrong? Should I call to her to let her know that everything was going to be okay? Would that even be true? Should I at least be decent enough to make a ruckus so she would know I was there?

I was stuck in a moment that was both awkward and heart-breaking. If I reached out to her, would that make me a good neighbor, or a bad one?

Jorge startled me into movement. I heard his booming voice call out to his wife. "Yessica! Where'd you go?"

A few moments passed before she answered. I imagine she needed to compose herself before returning to her loud, demanding husband, who would probably never understand the need for a good old-fashioned cry.

Friday, August 17, 2012

100 Words: I'm the Mom, Not the Maid

I'll move to someplace where it rains at least twice a week and relatives aren't allowed, specifically, offspring. I'll take the computer, the books and my nice comfy bed.

I'll probably take the coffee maker as well.

I'll eat out every night so I won't need to wash the dishes and I'll wear jammies all the time.

Nobody here notices what I do until I neglect to do it. Things pile up and get gross.

Then they point fingers at each other proclaiming, "He didn't clean it!" or "She didn't lift a finger!"

I think that's pretty obvious, don't you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Also Known As

You may not realize this (especially if you work for Pier 1 Imports), but Nessa Roo is not my real name. Well, the "Nessa" part is real, but the "Roo" part is simply a musical note you sing at the end.

I found this mailer in my mail box today.

I have no idea how Pier 1 matched this imaginary name to my actual address, but there you have it.

You know what this means, don't you?

(I have an alias.)