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2003-08-16 @ 11:30 p.m.
august panic attack #1

Yet another humid day. I think this is the most humid summer I remember and its getting really old. I guess because I live in a humid apartment which gets worse in humid weather. I noticed today, my couch and chair are taking on a green tint.

Mold? I think so. Its everywhere in my apartment. Closet. Sink. Tub. Under the furniture. On the refrigerator. Under the sink. On my bread. I'm having a hard time trying to keep up with it. And today I'm getting sick. Not sure if its the mold or a cold. Stuffed up nose. Scratchy throat. Have been scarfing up orange juice, vitamin C and Echinacea, but it still appears to be barreling down on me. I've also had a headache all day. The only time it went away was when I left my apartment.

Does that tell you anything?

I had a major panic attack this evening. I had just returned from a long walk. I had to circle my apartment complex several times because there were neighbors blocking my entrance. I don't like bumping into them, since they don't like me. They were gathered outside my side window.

I have a Filipino woman neighbor whose married to a white guy. They have several kids (including my least favorite Barney devil children). The Filipino lady had another Filipino lady and they were yacking up a storm in their high pitched fast, jumbled language. It brought up bad memories for me. Memories of my Dad's wife on my last visit with him. She had her friend over and they would look over at me, and then burst into some rapid Filipino language and then look at each other and then back at me.

On my last visit, they had said I could take anything I wanted since they were moving back to the Philippines. It really WASN'T anything I wanted. I wanted this beautiful handcarved headboard in the guestroom, but it had already been promised to someone else. One of wifey's friends. It was actually anything old and crappy that his wife couldn't sell. So I got the big lumpy 1980's furniture. A particle board bookcase. An old VCR. And an Oriental planter.

It was the Oriental planter that brought the most problem. I had put dibs on this one hand painted planter in the living room at the beginning of the trip. Wifey said ok. But when we were packing the moving truck, I went to pick it up to put it on the truck and wifey started talking rapidly in Filipino to her Filipino friend. Her voice sounded angry. She was glaring at me. She then asked me in English if I didn't want this other planter that was brown. I said no. I wanted the one with the blue print on it and then she turned to her friend and there was more rapid angry Filipino conversation. I just carried it out to the truck. These planters probably cost about $8 in the Philippines and maybe $25 in the United States. I wanted it. It was pretty. It was the only decent thing I got. So hearing the Filipino dialogue sifting down into my kitchen sort of turned me into Pavlov's dog.

I went into the bathroom to get away from the sound and decided to dye my hair. I got the dye on and suddenly I started to feel very lightheaded and ill. It reminded me of the time they had to call 911 at the beauty shop when I had an allergic reaction to hair dye about 7 years ago. I ripped my clothes off and jumped in the shower trying to get the dye off my hair. My heart was racing, I felt dizzy and faint. I thought I was going to pass out. I was totally panicked. I didn't want to faint in the shower and drown, so I jumped out, having barely gotten the offending dye off of my head and ran in my bedroom with a towel wrapped around my head crying. I searched for some underwear.

At this point I was seriously considering calling 911. But I thought...what are they going to do? Tromp into my apartment. And then I would have the embarrassment of having to tell them I think I was only having a panic attack? And of course it would be quite a spectacle for all the neighbors. And my landlords. I'm sure they'd wonder what was going on. Oh, its the nutty girl in apartment 6.

So I just laid on my bed sobbing.

I think its just everything. My car radiator is leaking again. I hate this fucking apartment. My couch is growing green stuff. I'm angry about what my ex-landlord said about me and my family. And I don't know what to do. Plus I'm getting sicker. This morning it was only some sniffles. Tonight I can barely breathe. And I don't feel like things are getting done quick enough. Of course I never do.

The last two days my Mom and I have been talking about me moving to my aunt's old house. She has been dead since 1990 and her daughter just keeps the house as it was. Pays taxes on it. Still has the phone on. Has all the same furniture. She keeps it as a kind of shrine to her mother and her childhood. She did rent it to my cousin in the mid 90's for a brief time. Its a 2 bedroom house with a big yard. The neighborhood is kind of borderline. The edge of the 'hood, but not a total crackhouse area. It's a largely African American neighborhood. I'm white. I have no problem with that. Sometimes African Americans have problems with me though. I've had my car attacked twice in black neighborhoods. Men coming up and banging on my hood when I stop for red lights. One guy ran up to my car, screaming and swearing at me and started hitting my car. I had done absolutely nothing, other than turn onto the street where I had lived. I was terrified. Wasn't sure if he had a gun or not. I used to have junkies ran after my car too and ask for money and rides. Its like honey, I'm just as destitute as you. Try someone else.

So I have that to think about with my aunt's house. Its a cute little house. It needs a little TLC. But it doesn't have bratty kid neighbors, or mold growing on the carpet, or neighbors using my electricity. And I wouldn't have to come up with first and last. I'm sure my second cousin who owns it would let me in for just that month's rent, which would be cheaper than here. And the utilities would be included.

Its just could I handle the neighborhood. Or could it handle me. There are some white people on the street. The house was robbed once. But its been sitting empty for 13 years and it was an easy mark. The people robbing it were really bold. They just pulled up in a van, in broad daylight, broke the door and were loading the refrigerator into a van when a neighbor who sort of watches the house came over and asked what they were doing. They said they were moving to a new house. Well, this neighbor knows us. And we're not black. And we were not moving anywhere. So she ran back to her house (only after memorizing the van's license plate number) and called the police immediately. Needless to say, the van screeched out of there tuit suite. Not sure if they caught them.

I think they did eventually, but they had already sold off what they had stolen, which also included some antique dishes and a beautiful round vintage globed frame with a picture of my uncle from World War I. We had actually taken that home with us once, to protect it, but my cousin had asked us to bring it back to the house, because she wanted the house to remain as it was as her childhood. And then it got stolen. My Mom did keep the Limogue dinnerware at her house. At least that's safe.

So I'm afraid of wanting to move there so much because its a house and it would be mine and there would be no evil landlord, but then there is the neighborhood to consider and the possible thievery that goes on around there. I already had my apartment ripped off once in California. They broke in and stole my VCR, and my room mates VCR and stereo. She kept her rent money in her bedroom, but it was so messy, the thieves missed it. It was the one time, being a slob paid off. And this was in a good neighborhood in a farming community.

You just never know.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty