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I’ve been a bad neighbor. Mission creeper, rescuer, and all around resident in the land of distraction. Mostly distracted by other people’s stuff. Also, I seem to be addicted to people who don’t give a rip about me. Even more so if they openly dislike me. What’s a girl to do? Obviously, if they knew me, my awesomeness would come shining through and I will win them over…I’ll keep at it.

I put up the mother of all fences this summer, betwixt me and the two tenement buildings next door. There seems to be a chronic case of daydrinking going on outdoors, starting most days around 10 a.m. Remember Hank Hill, seller of propane and propane accessories, in that cartoon King of the Hill? Like that, only not as charming. Phrases like “I like f***ing when I’m on nitrous” from the women, or “I’m not going back to jail” from the men waft over the fence where my mom sits doing crosstitch.

The fence is up. Now I just have to leave it alone. Tend to my side. I desire a ridiculously gorgeous garden along the fence. Now it’s October in Maine, and I get to dream about it for next year. And you know what? I have neighbors on the other (not fenced) side who have a ridiculously gorgeous garden. I swear they’re building a wedding venue with all those rock walls and bark mulch.No fence at all. Just a sign. Private property.

So, boundaries in general. My mom likes to come into my house when I’m not home and do things. Like fold my daughter Emily’s laundry. Put down newspapers under my leaky fridge. Come into my bedroom, I guess to look for more laundry or other leaky things. Thank God she’s feeling better. When I’m home, she’ll leave right away, apologizing the whole time about how she thought she heard a noise or wanted to help start dinner. She’s bored and lonely and, like me, hangs out just on the wrong side of the the fence like a it’s a candy bar. Leave it alone, Mom. Leave it alone, Jennifer.

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