Monday, January 23, 2006


15a---Journal entry for August 5, 2002


When Tinsel first moved into her South Philly apartment she felt a nice vibe immediately. People were friendly. They walked by you and gave you a smile. They looked at you and acknowledged you. She wasn't used to it at all but responded to it immediately.

Sometimes they smiled and said "Hi." Some of these guys around here would even start a conversation with you. They made you feel welcomed in the neighborhood.

The technology was still being used on her somehow and she hadn't figured out how they were able to do this but she figured they wouldn't dare to continue it for long in this neighborhood. She knew the people in this neighborhood would never take part in a crime like this and so they'd have to stop now.

That was how it was before the new guy moved in downstairs.

She remembers the first time she met him. She heard her buzzer and ran down the steps and there was this guy there leaning against the door. She opened it and he almost fell into the foyer.

"Hey, thanks alot buddy." He was all smiles and obviously had had a few too many and forgot his key. He gave her a big hug.

He also took her for another guy. She didn't think twice about that since it wasn't the first time plus sometimes when they thought you were male they treated you better. She didn't know it yet, but this was one of those times.

There was a woman next door--first floor apartment--with a child. She was open and friendly. She had a cat and it's litter and they were outdoors. A lot of little black cats needing a home.

One came up to Tinsels' back window--an adorable black kitten. She began to feed him and he came back around to the front door too. She asked the woman next door if she'd let someone take him--she wanted that. Tinsel told W. and once he saw him he realized he needed a cat.

Tinsels' neighbor was easy to talk to--childlike and happy--and she talked to everyone on the block that was friendly back. Her kid was very happy so they were both kind of light-hearted. That's why when the new guy said she was kind of strange Tinsel backed away from him as if stung.

"She's nice." Tinsel said and gave him a hard look.

He got the message. I'm not into the petty bullshit. That's when I became "IT" again.

Her landlords proceeded to throw her out--kid and all. They were Asian and she said her ex-husband was Asian. I assumed it was a financial thing or perhaps and in-law thing but in either case it seemed cold-hearted to throw out a woman and her child. She was looking into shelters so she really was literally being thrown out into the street.

Those were her neighbors to the north.

She didn't see the pattern yet but now it is so clear. New guy moves in beneath her, a woman and her child are thrown out by her neighbors to the north. So, the nice one leaves while a gossip moves in.

Well there was a tenant on the 3rd floor--a woman--who was friendly and she got married and moved to New York a month after Tinsel moved in. The new woman who moved in the apartment above her seemed friendly in the beginning but the new guy poisoned her in no time.



To the south are totally unfriendly people. They were immigrants and wouldn't even look up when she walked into her apartment. She said "Hello" and they pretended not to hear.

When she first moved in she had some friends over and told them all about her recent Hate Crime. Soon after, she heard some woman with a foreign accent (Russian?) saying something loud about a "lesbian".

A few days later she heard the same thing to the north of her outside. Another female voice, but the accent was oriental, screaming a bunch of stuff with alot of "lesbians" thrown in every minute or so.

This happened a third time but then she heard the guy 2 doors down saying "So what she's a lesbian, so what?" After that she didn't hear another word from those neighbors til practically a year later.

That guy who stopped the chatter was one of the first people she spoke to when she first moved in. He mentioned that people talk but he don't wanna hear it. He was working on his little rowboat. All he really wanted was to take his boat out, alone, and fish in peace.

The girl with the kid used to talk to him alot too. He was a nice guy. So, he apparently was responsible for keeping the neighbors around her from talking about Tinsel right outside her home in the beginning.

Unfortunately, the new guy began to talk. And all the homophobes listened. The guy with the boat was one small voice that was soon drowned out by the choir of hatred.

After awhile he came outside less and less. I guess hatred was becoming impossible to take--he had to run for cover.

She was working alot and unaware that she was surrounded by immigrants who hated her--again.

No one said this was gonna be a sweet story.

So, the neighborhood was changing--and she, as usual, was the last to know.

She was working a lot. She left the house around 9-9:30 in the morning and got home around 10-10:30 at night. Not alot of time or energy left for games. She never did care much for games anyway and she was not exactly what you'd call wealthy so it was just as well. No complaints here.

Too bad the young budding criminal on the first floor had all that free time on his hands. The devil's workshop was open for business downstairs.

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