Gentrification Blues #3

This weekend was hot. It was the official beginning of summer. I barely left my house. When I did I was again confronted with the changes in my neighborhood. It’s like the rats on a ship or roaches in the dark metaphor. Into the blinding sunlight and mildly scorching heat came the ghostly bodies of my new neighbors. Mouth dryingly pale and still without manners. It’s going to be a fun summer. I love sitting on the stairs of the library, now known as my office, and having to stare down the Park Sloper with the baby crying because it’s hot and mommy can’t take it in the library SCREAMING like that to cool it off or leave because she’s got a great spot to get some sun on her legs.

So here I am sitting alone listening to my iPod scribbling furiously on the stupid story I’ve been hacking away at, I mean writing, for like 2 years now…. “Sorry, what? No, no one’s sitting there.” What could I say? No one was sitting there. I wasn’t prepared to act crazy and have imaginary friends. So down she sits and my table’s perfectly placed for two ways to get sun and put the baby under the umbrella. The screaming baby. The baby screaming so loud that my Erik Satie makes my head hurt and hands shake cause it’s too loud and grating. I stare at the mother who apologizes profusely, but what am I supposed to say? “I accept your apology, but it would be better if you took your SCREAMING MONKEY home.”

She started doing all the things mothers do to make their children shut up, to no avail. I start shifting. I’m already hot and uncomfortable and writing outside and feel weird. How do I describe how I felt with the future sitting there raising hell and a mother who kinda didn’t give a shit. (Now, let me say that I have friends with kids and I know it’s a tough job and adults don’t want to be cooped up with kids all day. But I also know that that’s why I don’t have kids and really resent being subjected to other peoples problems.)

I guess it’s just that I’m seeing something more and more that disturbs me about this neighborhood I love so much. Too many babies. When I’m dictator, I’m putting a moratorium on procreating in Prospect Heights. Go to Queens to fuck up your kids.

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