First, let me say that I’m a neurotic person of Irish and German descent. And thus, am highly averse to intrusions into my personal space zone.
Last week my zone was violated in a deplorable incident involving my next door neighbor, E6 (a.k.a. “The Mouth”) and her family.
I wage perpetual, if silent, protests against several of E6’s behaviors. Allowing her door to slam behind her at all hours, the “Boom!” a concussive blast that shakes the building to its core. Constantly screaming “FUCK!” — especially around her children. But most of all, I resent the fierceness with which she guards her huge handicapped parking space.
Despite having a car-length, unoccupied space behind her, E6 parks at the tippy-top of hers. This leaves no room for anyone to squeeze into a tight spot in front of her, lest she call the police complaining someone’s parked half an inch over her line.
This bugs me.
So. Last week I was entering my building through the back door. Hearing people walk through the front entrance, I called, “Should I hold the elevator for you?”
Again: “Should I hold the elevator?”
Slightly irritated, I pulled the gate and got on.
Just as I went to push the button, E6, her husband, and two children rounded the corner, dragging huge bags of laundry behind them.
They’d ignored my question, but felt no compunction about piling into the elevator after me.
By the time three of them got on, we were smooshed in like a hundred marshmallows shoved into a small plastic sandwich bag.
Viewing the conditions, E6’s husband said, “I’ll take the next trip up.”
“Okay,” I answered.
“No!” The Mouth barked. “There’s room for you! Shove over, kids.”
The kids, doing what little they could, sucked in their stomachs. The husband, toting a gigantic bag of laundry, squeezed through the gate.
Now I was bodily pinned into the corner of the elevator.
Respiration was no longer an option.
A fireball of rage swelled in my stomach, shooting sparks throughout my neural pathways.
As the elevator began its ascent, here were a few of my thoughts:
If I call these people classless, inconsiderate low-lifes right now, do they have enough room to assault me? Because I know The Mouth would. And I’m too cramped to defend myself.
If human combustion is a real phenomenon, I’m at risk. However, if I go up in flames, so will E6.
But wait! I’m not the asshole here. Do I really want to make that kind of sacrifice?
No, I conclude.
Jesus Christ, do these people have to breathe through their mouths? Because, unless I happen to be sleeping with you, I don’t want to smell your fucking breath.
Stop. Fucking. Breathing.
I don’t like to say I hate anyone, but…I think I hate these people.
My plan of killing them with kindness?
It’s not working out.