Wednesday, November 11, 2009


What the fuck . . . was that pounding . . . on my wall?!

I looked down at my tidy desk and straightened everything up, placing my pencils in the glass jar, my blue pens in the tin can, and then shoved all of my black pens into my drawer. I hated black pens, I don’t even know why I had them in my house. I quickly paper clipped the stacks of papers on my desk, doubled checked my pencils then jumped up from my chair. I walked out of my office and into my living room where the black and white photograph was knocked crooked from the pounding. I walked up to it and straightened it out. I stood back to make sure that it looked level and the pounding started again, knocking the picture crooked again.

Twenty minutes later when the pounding finally stopped, I pulled my arms down from the picture frame and stretched my arms. Twenty minutes of pounding! Twenty minutes I had to stand there to make sure my photo stayed level. The pounding meant only one thing, someone finally moved in next door. Crap.

What does one do when they get a neighbor? Bake a batch of cookies? Start playing music extremely loud non-stop to get them to leave? I walked to the front window and pulled back the sheer white curtains and looked down at the driveway. A mid-sized U-Haul truck was backed into the driveway, staying on it’s respective side. A man in shorts with thick legs and a solid upper body was stacking boxes on top of a dollie. He looked like he was alone, and there wasn’t a whole lot in his truck from what I could see. Maybe he’s just renting. Maybe I hope I’m right.

I turned from the window and headed back to my office. I sat down in my oversized leather chair and grabbed a pencil, sharpening it to a fine point, lightly pressing it down on a blank piece of paper to make sure it won’t break. Once I was satisfied, I pulled the paper clips off of the stacks of papers, and set them inside my drawer. Back to work.

Once the pounding started up again, I pressed my pencil a little too hard into the paper, causing the tip to snap. That was it, I’ve had enough. I went through the motions once again, cleaning up my desk. I got up from my chair and headed into my kitchen. He’s obviously pounding for cookies. His great big “fuck you neighbor, I’m here, come say hi” greeting. I glanced into the living room quickly to see the frame had been knocked crooked again. Oh dear lord. I looked away and turned back toward my kitchen. The image of the tilted frame was stuck in my head though, and I couldn’t even think about what I was doing until I leveled it out. I grabbed the duck tape on my way out of the kitchen and headed for the frame. I ripped off a long piece and made a sticky loop. I placed it along the bottom backside of the frame, and pushed it against the wall, where it stayed in place.

One could never go wrong with cheese, crackers and a bottle of some unknown wine that’s been sitting in my kitchen for over 6 months. I found an old basket and place them inside of it before walking out of my front door. I locked the door behind me and twisted the handle twice to make sure it was locked. I placed my key in my front pocket when I was satisfied and headed down the stairs and across the driveway to his front door.

I knocked three times then stood back from his door. I looked down at my clothes to make sure I was presentable, in this case I was. There was nothing more sophisticated than khaki slacks and a white button up shirt tucked in. It was sexy, modern day sexy. The door swung open and there stood a man with very dominate eyebrows. “Hi,” he smiled as he greeted me.

“Hi, I’m Madison, I live next door, I just thought I would bring you a home welcoming gift and ask you what in the world that pounding is?” I asked in one long breath holding out the basket towards him.

He chuckled slightly before taking the basket out of my hands. “Sorry about the pounding, I accidentally tore out a door frame, so I’m just putting it back up. I’m Craig by the way.” He held out his hand for me to shake and I hesitantly placed my hand in his. “I’ll try and keep it down.”

I nodded my head and turned my back to him, heading back to my own front door. I stopped in front of my door and fished the key out of my front pocket. I held it in my right hand, and twisted the handle, smiling when I noticed it was still locked. I placed the key inside of the lock and twisted it to the right, back to the left, and then to the right once again before pulling the key out. I twisted the handle and the door swung open. I released the handle and wiped my shoes on the outdoor mat four times each before stepping inside. Once I was inside of my home, I took my shoes off, shut the door and locked it. Now, I had to get back to work.

The first draft for my next book was due in a month, and I had no inspiration running through my body at all. One month to write a three-hundred page mystery, I had four pages written. I glanced down at my desk and decided maybe a break was in order.

I headed up the stairs toward my bedroom and located my hookah. A nice smoke was in order. I took it out to my balcony off my bedroom, and set it down on the table. I looked out over Pittsburgh and smiled. This was the reason I bought the over-priced condo on Mount Washington. It wasn’t the greatest view, but it was enough to see the skyline I fell in love with at the tender age of twenty-two.

Twenty-two years old, that felt like a decade ago. Crap. I pulled my phone out of my front pocket and glanced at the date. It was a decade ago. How did I not know it was my 32nd birthday? I blame it on the book. I’d been staring at blank white sheets of paper for so long, I didn’t even realize what the date was. I shook my head and got to work on the hookah. Filling the bowl to the brim with strawberry flavored tobacco, making sure none was falling over the edge. It had to be perfect, to taste perfect. I wrapped the foil on top, punch exactly 28 holes, lit a coal on fire, then placed it on top.

Once the smoke was filing the vase, I inhaled deeply then pushed out smoke rings through my mouth. I instantly got a head rush, but it was calming enough for me to close my eyes. I continued to smoke from the hose, the taste of strawberries filling my mouth. I searched deep in my mind for inspiration. I need something, anything.

“ARE YOU SMOKING POT?” I jumped from my seat and looked to my left to see Craig standing on his balcony starring at me in disbelief.

“No!” I shouted back completely offended, placing my hand over my chest.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before, sure as hell looks like a bong to me!”

“If I was smoking pot, do you honestly think I would do it out in the open?” I fired back before sucking in some more smoke, blowing it out towards him, hoping he could pick up the smell.

“Is that . . . strawberries?”

“It is, it’s a hookah, and I’m smoking sisha. It’s flavored tobacco.”

“Oh. Okay.” He nodded his head and starred at me a bit longer before heading back into his bedroom.

I rolled my eyes and looked at my beautiful hookah, which consisted of a blue glass vase and silver hardware. It was a gift from a friend in New York City. He was who turned me on to the dangerous addiction. I noticed a very obviously finger print on the vase and it took every muscle in my body to prevent me from jumping up. I just wanted to sit there and enjoy smoking. I needed a break. Yet the longer I looked at it, the bigger it got. Fuck. I set the hose down and headed inside to grab the Windex and some paper towels. There never were breaks in my life.


  1. AHH!!! I LOVE IT!!! I am so in love with this story my heart just burst. And I can 100% relate to Maddison! haha oooh that's not a good thing to admit...

    Still loved it!

  2. Bahaha, I love it already. I love her OCD, and I love Craig freaking out thinking it was pot.

    I can't wait to see what's going to happen next. These two are going to duke it out, I can feel it.

    And yum, Craig's thick legs and solid upper body. Niice.



    I'm so excited for this, and I don't even like Craig Adams lol.
    You described OCD so well... to the point where I wanted the picture frame straight lol.

    I can't wait to see how Mr. Adams fits into this... oh dear lord, poor next door lady.

  4. hahaha, i love her OCD and hate it at the same time because OCD is shitty.
    it gets the best of us i suppose.

    i'm excited to see where this is going.

  5. shes a little ocd but craig adams... oh boy what a looker that one is

  6. So far, so good...I like it...A LOT!

  7. Likin' what I read, can't wait for more*