The Dent in My Waterbottle

Dear J,

A couple years ago I lived in an apartment with some friends in the dirtiest part of town. Someone got murdered a few buildings down from mine one day and I saw their body being bagged up on my way home from work. It was a wild place. I normally wouldn’t mind as long as the nonsense didn’t get too close to my apartment. But eventually it did.

For the first few months of me and my friends living in the apartment, there was nobody below us. Then one day some people started moving in. That’s where the fun began. The smell of weed would permeate my room more often than not. The moans from nightly threesomes kept me awake. The strange men who would bang on my door thinking they were at the apartment below me would make me uneasy.

Not to mention these people were being investigated by the police for selling drugs and prostitution. The situation was made even sadder by the fact that little kids lived in that apartment too. The cops asked me to keep an eye on them. I was basically turned into an informant. I copied down the license plate numbers of all the strange vehicles that would come to visit them. I would report on their comings and goings. I asked the leasing company to do something about it but they said their hands were tied because all the police had were allegations. No hard evidence. And also the workers said they were scared for their safety and refused to talk to my neighbors about their activities.

So I got to live with the weed smoke and the late night orgies and the strange crackheads coming to my door and the shouting about “blowing heads off”. It wasn’t ideal. I was trying to run a state representative campaign at the time. I wasn’t so much worried about my safety as I was of the inconvenience of if we would’ve had to have some kind of shootout.

One day I was having a particularly bad day. I think I was getting burnt out at work and came home during a storm. The wind was howling, rain was coming down, and I was being pelted by hail. The check engine light in my truck came on. Stuff like that. When I got to my door, there was one of those key box locks on the knob. The kind that lets the realtor go in and out whenever they want. That kind of irritated me because I wasn’t told beforehand they’d be doing that.

They can’t even knock on my downstair neighbors’ door but they can just come in and out of my home whenever they want? Whatever.

I tried to ignore it and go inside but the door wouldn’t unlock. The key would just spin round and round but wouldn’t unlock the door. So there I was with a messed up lock getting soaked and pelted with hail. The longer it went on, the angrier I got.

They can’t even knock on their door but they can just come in and out of my home whenever they want?

I thought if I calmed down, the door would unlock. It didn’t work. Probably because I didn’t calm down. Then for some reason the neighbors directly across from my stood outside of their door and watched me struggle. I think they actually had some mental problems. It was all I could stand.

THEY CAN’T EVEN KNOCK ON THEIR DOOR BUT THEY CAN JUST COME IN AND OUT OF MY HOME WHENEVER THEY WANT???

I took my anger out on that lock. Cold and wet and hammered by hail, I picked up my metal waterbottle and bashed that lock over and over. To my surprise, it popped off. My new enemy was vanquished. My waterbottle still bears the scars of a dented bottom. I felt a little better afterwards. I don’t remember what I did with that key box. I think I tossed it. Nobody ever asked about it.

-Jeston

Follow me: @DoHpodcast and @JestonTexeira or on Instagram: @Death.Of.Hemingway

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