Posted by: sulya | 6 January 2010


Given I have already done my “last day” post I am going to throw out another THANK YOU to Jette & Chip for their Holidailies project that officially comes to an end today – and then I am going to do this:

Because the damn pot smokers are back with a vengeance.  After the first round of letters and door knocking and conversations with the building manager were exchanged, after I fortified what cracks and holes in my walls I could fortify with filtering etc. a year ago, things got better.  Enough better that I only smelled skunk in my bathroom and son’s room and laundry area maybe once or twice a week, usually on a Friday night when I don’t have my son and I was willing – in the spirit of “we all live in this building together and I don’t really care that much about pot except when it’s in my son’s room…” to put up with once or twice a week.

But we are up to three to four times a day now.  Again.  My clothes that hang to dry in my bathroom or laundry area smell smokey.  After a particularly bad day, my nostrils actually burn a little from the fumes and my ears are tired from the sound of my only moderately effectual air purifier.

Tonight, they toked up right when I wanted to put my kidlet to bed and I had to keep him up while I ran the purifier for 20 mins just to make it passable in his room.

And I really did, until about a week ago, think that it really sucked that, beyond the actual nuisance of the smoke in my suite – by default – I am being cast as the “conservative,” when I’m not.  Drugs are not my thing and never have been but given the alcohol related violence I both saw and read about all the time in London, and have seen and heard about here as well, I’m not generally all that hard on a substance that makes people sit around and talk slowly while eating snacks…

But now.  Now.  What really sucks is that my home… My hard won, I-can’t-even-type-about-this-without-crying, HOME is being violated and poisoned by something I cannot truly fight myself… By something I cannot even see…  It hurts me somewhere inside to not feel “safe” here.

And I know it’s just pot smoke and that cigarette smoke would probably be even worse, and I’m getting all over my building manager and the condo board, but I just want one damn place in my life to feel safe.  It makes my hands shake with rage and with a kind of almost indescribable, subtle, fear.

I know what it feels like to feel safe.  I remember.  I have that gift because my family gave it to me.  And I mistook a very dangerous (psychologically) place for “safe” for a long time because it looked and smelled and tasted that way but it wasn’t safe and so I’ve been learning again what it means to have a safe place – for real – and I need the pot smoke to go away.

I need it to stop.

Just stop.

And now – because they just started to toke up AGAIN –  I have to go and check my son’s room and then do lesson plans for classes that – quite frankly and for the first time in a long time – I have literally no interest in teaching tomorrow.

May all of your homes be whatever you need them to be to feel like you are really HOME.

(And if that requires smoking pot 3+ times a day then may it not affect anyone else but YOU…)

With Love & Rage,

The Octopus in Residence





  1. You have my sympathies. I feel similarly about my neighbors upstairs, only in my case they have an incredibly goddamned noisy bed from hell that sounds like Attack Of The Frogs, and I hear it every time they roll over because it makes noise for at least a minute. And they wake up early every day. Don’t even talk to me about the 3 a.m. sex. And yet, I can’t soundproof the place any more and there’s no way to reasonably demand that someone buy a new bed, especially broke college students. And I don’t want to be The Crank Who Called The Cops about it, so…yeah.

  2. Oh, Jennifer. That really sucks. Squeaks are highly annoying and disruptive to sleep… Thank you for your obviously very knowing and understanding sympathies!

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