The stress is on the first syllable.

This is a follow-up to the farrago over the stair railings colour – qv earlier blogs – which was initially painted according to a choice from options given but, since that didn’t please the leaseholder, was changed to what he wanted and is therefore compelled, a compulsion all the worse for the original option being taken away once granted.

The consequence was I told my next door neighbour I wanted no more to do with her. She was one of the two tenants, who’d had no objection to the chosen option, the landlord inveigled into supporting what the leaseholder wanted. I wanted no more to do with him either. As Aristotle says: what’s compelled displeases. He says nothing about who compels but that’s inferable.

I was passed en route to the post office to post my objections to the CEO of the housing so-called partnership by a smirking Bob, the leaseholder, congratulating himself at having succeeded underhandedly at putting one over on me and achieving male dominance.

A week later Bob was coming down to Waitrose as I was going up towards the block. I’d somehow without doing anything in the meantime wiped the smirk from his plain face. His colluder, the so-called customer adviser, may have divulged the content of my letter. Hatred had replaced the smirk and he was aiming his squat body at me to force me to get out of his way. I skiffed him in passing.

Subsequently, as I was going out, he was in front of me on the stairs, deliberately keeping to the middle. I said, “Excuse me.” He said nothing but stopped, to hold me up.

I was a page missing from my copies for the writers group and had to go back to the library for it. Returning, I saw Tina, the next door neighbour, coming up the street. I was feeling in my pocket for the fob when she put her fob over to open the door and pushed through it in front of me and then, like a constipating stool, blocked my passage with her massive, slow bulk. She sang a song of triumph afterwards irritatingly.

I take advice from a convict. John said to let it go till they do it again, as they would, when a collusive pattern will have been established.

I said excuse me to Tina who was keeping the outside door open while picking up her bags. Her big bum was obstructing my exit but, not wanting to wait till she, erect, blocked me into giving way to her, I made for the gap between her arse and the jamb, banging the bag with champagne in it I was taking on a visit to a friend.

Bob was at the outside door as I was coming from recycling out the back. He hurriedly opened the door in order to stop, deliberately blocking my way to make me give way to him. No way, Jose. There was a gap between him and the wall I took, saying “Excuse me.” It angered me though.

I’ve been advised to report to this evidence of concerted harassment and intimidation to the landlord and have done so. It seemed if I didn’t accept mediation by the landlord my complaint would not be acted on although to accept mediation would be to retract the charge of harassment and entail coming to terms with people I no longer wanted anything to do with. It let them off the hook (and the landlord). I persisted and the scarcely impartial landlord agreed to speak to the perpetrators, as she now called them, surprisingly using the word I hadn’t myself used in writing to her but had strenuously thought. Olivia probably has said something because Tina spoke to me though I wouldn’t listen perhaps to the effect she won’t speak to me and that’d be my punishment for …I don’t think she said what crime I’d committed against her.

That rationalisation of her self-righteousness hasn’t held. I was going to my separate shed, along the balcony, for a white wine to chill and she was out her door. She was staring resentfully at me and I said “Who’re you looking at?” copying, probably in sound too, an ex-tenant, Rodger, who’d said that aggressively to me. Instead of ignoring, as I would, she tiraded: I was ignorant, stupid, impossible, even the animals didn’t like me. Where had she got that last one from! I said she was self-projecting. She said something about the stair painting I don’t recall. I reiterated she’d decided against me and followed up with harassment on the stairs I’d complained about and that this was further harassment I’d complain about. Why did I want everything my own way! she said but was too emotional to stay for a considered answer. “Get out!” she shouted; she meant from my flat, as a convenience to her that I would no longer be there. She’d joined in a conspiracy with Rodger and the leaseholder, to have two tenants evicted. “You’re a bad old woman.” “Get out!” she repeated. I was progressing toward my door. “Get in!” she ordered, anything to have me submit. Going in her own door, her Parthian shot was, “Bitch!” “Self-projection again,” I said, adding, because she sounded like Diana demented, “You’re a foul-mouthed woman,” copying what Bob had said to Diana!


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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