I have what could be described as a mildly difficult neighbour. She's sort of high-profile, and due to some situations beyond my control, I became grist for the mill, so to speak, and have had to decide how to deal with the possible "bad blood". Last night I got home late, there was a card in my door, no label, and it was sealed. I stepped into my apartment, locked the door behind me, and ripped open the envelope. It was a card, albeit a creepy one, of a woman in a kind of newspaper origami, with curlers in her hair, and the headline "Sex Scandal". Inside was a handwritten note. It was...odd to say the least.
What to do?
I consulted the experts, 2 good friends who have been following developments closely. They had, from the beginning, persuaded me not to slash any tires and instead, deal with the situation by taking the high road.
So I did.
On the way home, while shopping, I picked up a bottle of Cabernet. I came home, work clothes still on, heels, raincoat, the whole bit, and wrapped said Cabernet in a New Yorker wine bag, covered with typeface, my own little attempt at newspaper humour. I took a deep breath and walked next door.
I knocked, in a civil, not angry, way, and waited, holding gift aloft so my visit would not be interpreted as disingenuous.
Door opened. I introduced myself and handed over the wine. Stammering ensued. I kept it short. No hard feelings. Walked back to my apartment, head held high. Good deed done.
My rumination about the card last night didn't last long. I had another piece of news after an old friend sent me a message, commenting on my blog. I had been having thoughts about wasting time on Sundays, frittering them away by not getting to the "big things" in life, whatever the hell those things are. Her message gave me serious pause, and this is a friend who has always had a gift for doing that to me. Back in the day this was a friend who challenged me with an intellect that I had never seen before. I am thinking of her today. My friend commented that she was glad I'm still writing. I'm glad too. It's been a while, but sometimes it's the only way I can communicate with myself, and with the people who know me well, to whom I can't always have the big conversations with. The conversations that mean you have to feel twinges of pain, or of regret. Where things are often said that leave you feeling exposed and uncomfortable. But as I once read in a memoir-ic novel by a writer whom I really admire--"If it feels scary and painful, it probably means you're doing the right thing." -Caroline Knapp, author.