I think I’m going crazy
My home is for sale. My apartment is slowly transforming into fancy condos. About three months ago, my neighbor was schlepping closet contents to her car. She told me that her lease was not renewed. And oh by the way, mine won’t be renewed either. I better get my affairs in order.
I did notice our tiny complex was like a ghost town, but it never occurred to me to be concerned. The weird lady next door never came back after Christmas. The dude with the loud friends beside her hadn’t returned either. Several units had been empty for a long time. As I took a quick assessment, I realized that my upstairs neighbor, Cutie College Courtney and Patsy the Bulldog lady across the way were the only ones left.
Sweet Patsy. She’s an interesting one. Her beloved bulldog, who was very old, passed away last year. She took him to a taxidermist and he now proudly looks out of her window, captured for all eternity in mid tongue-wag. I see him every time I take the trash out. It’s disturbing. And a little bit awesome.
In January, construction workers swooped in to begin demolition on the empty units. And they haven’t stopped since. They start every day at 7:00 a.m. and leave at exactly 5:30 p.m. I wake each morning to the buzz saw that has lived directly outside of my bedroom window for a little over two months. This is a different buzz saw from the ones that reside outside of my door and my kitchen window. That’s right. There are three. They buzz all day long. All day.
The work is on three sides of my apartment. For the month of January, I never opened the blinds since I’m on the ground floor. Jose and his team didn’t need to see me padding around in my yoga pants and Superman t-shirt with a Dr Pepper. No one wants to watch me stare at my computer, wondering if my editor will let me incorporate this lovely experience in the next chapter. Since my apartment is on the inside of the complex, I basically work in darkness now. I don’t know about you, but that messes with my head.
Things would be different if I didn’t work from home. Some days the noise (which can’t be drowned out by music) is enough to make me want to punch things. Yes, ear plugs work, but it’s annoying to have to wear ear plugs in my own home. Yes, I also work from the library, but it’s also annoying to have to leave my own home to do work. I prefer to complain to you on my website. Is that so wrong?
I’ve learned to tune out the hammering. And I do look forward to that state-mandated lunch break all 17 workers (I’ve counted) take around lunchtime. Sometimes I just sit in silence and cry equally silent tears. But nothing prepared me for my reaction when Cutie College Courtney jumped ship last weekend. It took a gaggle of fraternity dudes clomping down the metal staircase with arms full of fluffy pink pillows and colorful suitcases for me to finally understand that the commotion which surrounded me would soon infiltrate the space above my head as well. I started laughing like Walter on The Money Pit.
Of course I’m exaggerating. For the most part, sort of. It’s really not that bad. I’m learning to embrace my apartment life. Jose and I have developed a sort of unofficial schedule of polite interaction. I open my blinds without a care in the world, waving at him like an old friend. He asks if I’ve received anything good when I check my mail. I thank him for moving my Amazon packages under my door mat, away from the endless layers of sawdust. Sure I’ll buy some Girl Scout cookies to support your daughter’s troop! Is your wife’s garden coming along? How’s Abuela’s health?
Most days, I envision this being the wacky beginning to a wonderful love story. I’m chatting with Jose, looking fabulous in front of the men who are currently jack hammering the empty swimming pool, when Jose’s brother comes over to check on the progress of the new condos. He looks like this:
It takes a few days, but we eventually fall in love. We live happily ever after.
You’d be surprised how Justin Baloni can make me smile through even the loudest of buzz saws.