Where I Used to Live


ImageJust off the highway to Madison was Carling Drive where my Swiss Chalet stood. I lived there for thirteen years and while I worked I turned in every week day at the drive, riding the city bus. I loved walking up the sidewalk to my door.  

If I’d turned right off the bus, I would have been in the center of the drug trade for the neighborhood Young men standing around in pairs or threes, stamping their feet if it was Winter, warming their hands with cigarettes and fingerless gloves. Cars coasting up to the group, a window gets rolled down and something is exchanged for something else. I can only guess!

 But I turned left and it was another world. The building  was white and had Swiss banner signs on the outside. There were brown patios on the upper floors and the doors to the inside brown and locked. This was a secure building and I felt safe there.   

Not quite as safe as I did when I first moved in but then we had our own tragedies––the man upstairs killed himself through asphyxiation with a Weber grill in the bathroom. I remember the cop asking me if I’d smelled anything like burned toast. Is that what we smell like when grilled?  

Eventually, I had to move. The doors stopped being locked and the drug exchange moved into my back parking lot. The people upstairs fought noisily and hookers were selling themselves for $5 in the laundry room.  The last incidence was a man trying to escape the police by hiding in my dumpster with a rifle circled by cop cars. It was time to go.

Published in: Uncategorized on February 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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