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Loud Quiet Loud

The Lesbian Neighbor is weird. She doesn't have a washer or dryer, and I never saw her move a bed in, but she appears in the backyard and waters the dead lawn in a drought every evening like clockwork. Is she a Landlady lackey? The old guy in the 1980 Buick that comes by every night leaves me to believe she is not actually a lesbian. My name for her is thus a misnomer, and I really don't want to come up with another one.

The new lady on the other side (of my house, not another dimension) showed up banging on the door while my fiance was playing Smashing Pumpkin's "Quiet" (also a misnomer) on guitar, presumably to whine and bitch. We didn't answer the door, part of my ongoing effort to pretend she does not exist. You can whine and bitch all you want, lady, but his guitar turns me on and so it stays.

Not that being turned on amounts to anything, lately. Over 2 pounds of gummy bears one evening, I asked him why he had been coming onto me less and less. He mentioned being tired and old and fat (him not me, although the same could be said for me) and brightened up a bit before comparing us to Al and Peg Bundy. "You're my best friend, you know. It's like that."

The dirty look on my face could not be washed off that night, try as I might with my apricot blackhead scrub. I crawled in bed with my hair in a pineapple ponytail on top of my head and replayed his Married with Children reference in my head over and over. "If he's not getting it from you, he's getting it somewhere else," my Grandma had snapped at me when I was 14 years old. Not sure why she was uttering this nugget of knowledge to me, given that I was 92 pounds and seven years away from any physical contact whatsoever. I think she'd been talking about my older sister. Either way, it had scarred me.

As long as I was tormenting myself with terrible memories, I sat in bed staring at the window (a practice Fiance so often asks me about) remembering the two boys who'd stood next to me in 9th grade gym class. "She's so quiet," one had said. The other one spat down at me, the gelatinous glob of spit I had no idea what to do with clinging to my elbow. "She's ugly too," he replied, and they had laughed together before turning around for roll call.

In bed, I reached up and felt my pineapple hair and looked down at the rolls of fat on my stomach. I had prayed to be freed from my prison of emaciation in the nineties, and now I was at the opposite end of the spectrum. It was surely a joke from the Heavens, orchestrated by Grandma, perhaps?

Ouch.