At last, my reign has begun. Henceforth, I shall be known as Queen of the Fourplex.
It was Esther who moved out first. She lived on the first floor and I miss her the most. Her husband built the place I live in the 50s and she’d raised the family here. She has Alzheimer’s and now lives in a Home. She was smart and feisty and whenever I was out gardening, it was like “50 First Dates with Esther.” Something like, “Who are you? Where do you live? What are you doing in my garden?” And so on.
I truly enjoyed the “Who are you?” question. I had just moved in and my life was a blank slate. “That’s a very good, question, Esther,” I would say, “Who am I anyway? What exactly do I want? What kind of life? Hmmmmm.” This would piss Esther off even more and she’d stand over me, hands on her hips, waiting for a concrete answer. Then, she’d point out all the weeds I’d missed, “Well, whoever you are, you’re a crappy gardener.”
Then, Neal, the yummy musician/river guide just below me finally got fed up with the nasty neighbor next to him and moved in with his girlfriend, Emily. I’ll miss his rapid-fire laugh and the expert guitar riffs that came up through my water heater. I will not miss the fornication soundtrack. Talk about rubbing it in …
Finally, management kicked out Crazy Angie next door to me. She reeked of negative energy, lived in darkness and was obsessed with TV. She’d slam the door as you passed by, wouldn’t make eye contact and was afraid and/or against most everything. She called the city to complain about Neal’s “attack dog” – an old mushy yellow lab named Belle. She’d lived there since 1993 but they finally got her ass out last Saturday which means ….
IT’S ALL ME, BABY! As the worker dudes – a friendly guy named Tim and an 18-year-old helper named Mark – slowly fix up all the empty units, I’ve (temporarily) got the entire building, lot and expansive backyard to myself: The ClizBiz Queendom.
I could devise no better way to break in the castle than to invite some gal pals over for a healthy tradition called ‘Circle.’ Every season or so, a group of us ladies gather together to talk about our lives, speak some healing words of encouragement, eat, drink, smoke and get crafty. These wonderful women – mostly from Mississippi – roped me in last year when I needed it most. Once again, the Girlfriend Network saves my ass.
Inspired by the pressing urge to decorate my Sin Box - an old cigar box filled with candy, cigarettes, chocolate, illicit drugs and ex-boyfriend phone numbers - I decided we should make personalized boxes. Please note the masterful - mistressful? - work of Miss Amy Cobbs. Her artistry blew us all away.
The unstoppable One-Armed Carley didn't let her little running mishap get in the way of Art. She made a Saving for Costa Rica Box while wearing my Grandma Myrtle's apron, which I'd personally extracted from a rotting North Dakota farmhouse. Ah, the many exotic lives of an antique apron.
On the left here is the lovely Amy, who looked so delicate and summery in frilly white and pink. She claimed the muse wasn't with her, "Ya'll, I'm just not feeling it today. The creativity is just not comin'." Though we all loved her results, we generally agreed that The Muse is one fickle bitch.
Celine, to the right here, is somewhat known as a Master (again, Mistress?) of Manifestation. She showed up to a Circle at Carley's house one time and wowed us with sleek new car, which seemingly came from out of the blue. (I've heard she can also do this with $5,000 paintings.) When we asked her where the car came from, she responded: "I manifested it!" Either the girl has special powers or has some serious connections on the Black Market. Personally, I welcome either one.
At left is The Mighty Miss Bliss, who kindly helped me gather all the art supplies. "Girl, we got to go to Hobby Lobby!" she declared. Despite the mass acreage of flourescent lighting, I was floored by all the bits and pieces of yet unmade masterpieces - the place is teeming with promising elements of the future.
An apt description for my new exclusive space. Come on by and I'll let down the drawbridge - lots of cold beers in the fridge ...