When I moved here December 8, 2011, I had only one intention; to peel away the dead flesh and let someone I’d rather know emerge. I like Von Simeon; she’s a much more interesting person than whoever the fuck I was before.
Historically a flight risk, I’ve renewed my stay at this brownstone for yet another year. Why give up the mini-empire I’ve established? Since I got here, I’ve exercised zero tolerance for wannabe criminals sullying my block – chasing out stank hoes trying to work my building, getting assholes next to me evicted, and dismissing shady peace officers. Flag or badge, I’m on to you idiots like ‘white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in the middle of a snow storm!’*
Just recently, I pissed off the OGs pushing drugs to the middle school kids up the block by slow rolling on their action and straight tellin’ their kiddie pushers to fuck off. One of the OGs tried to shake me while in my truck, but I laughed his idiocy off, like Riley does Grandpa Freeman. You see, I’m from a little town called Fort Hood, Texas, where the community motto is, “Just Give Me A Reason.” Ergo, if I feel comfortable in this space, I’m gonna maintain it as MY space!
My tenure comes with privileges… the maintenance team responds same day to my requests, the property managers know me on a first name basis, and every patrolman on overnight shift takes the time to check in with me and Bobby on our lakeview stoop. They, along with my neighbors and management understand, if something goes down within my perimeter, I’m gonna handle it, and THEN call them to deal with it. I’m no vigilante; I’m just a lame-legged retired woman who’s an excellent shot.
Already you’re thinking I live in a shitty ass neighborhood. Actually, I do not: I live in a middle income suburb on the coast, where manicured lawns and luxury cars reign supreme. It’s as if the Divine 9 held a general meeting 40 years ago and said, ‘we’re going to achieve excellence in how we live and how we raise our children by buying blocks of beautiful homes and invoking peaceful living.’ But just like other well-to-do neighborhoods in America, scabs come along on occasion, and ultimately, it is the charge of the individual to either tolerate or eradicate nonsensical behavior. That’s what I’m doing; this is how I contribute.
In reward, I’ve managed to embrace my creativity, address my disabilities, and renew my sense of spirituality all from my shaded balcony. This year the Universe felt generous enough to give me a partner in life, a proclaimed Florida Cracker, who loves me more than I can understand, but won’t refuse.
Today I celebrate locking one foot in the now, here in beautiful Pinellas County, and the other, flexed towards the future.
*Cool points if you can name the American movie where that quote is from!