Why My Non-Binary Wind Chimes Ain't Ringin'
We've been worrying about our wind chimes. They were made by a local musician who decided to create chimes that sound melodic. Posh I know. They're the cat's pajamas. Only, at the moment, they're hanging in our living room window. On the inside of the apartment.
That's right. Our wind chimes have no wind.
Our reasoning? We're sensitive souls with two sets of neighbors above us, who, frankly, we rarely bump into. What if they don't like the ringing and dinging? What if, one night, there's a storm that we sleep through (unlikely), while our neighbors lie awake, listening to the jingling, anxiously plotting our demise?
What can I say? We try to be aware. But sometimes, I think we try too hard to be nice.
An example: When we lived in the UK, briefly—because it didn't work out on oh-so-many fronts—we were stalked by the woman who lived upstairs. She was in her eighties, an alcoholic, and also had severe Alzheimer's. She used to own the entire building, though her niece, our landlord, now owned the basement flat we were renting. In other words, she'd come downstairs, knock on the door, and, as if she'd never met us, verbally assault us for illegally setting up home in her house.
She had a three-minute memory, and that was on a good day. She always forgot who we were. She always reverted to believing the flat was empty. In terms of her language and attitude, she could be scary, threatening, abusive.
Sometimes, at night, I'd turn over in bed to see a figure looming outside our slatted blinds, black against the orange of the streetlight. She'd be in our front garden, peering through our windows, trying to see if we were living in her home. And as a childhood survivor of sexual abuse, this was one hell of a shock for me. I'd be startled, then triggered, unable to sleep.
Yet, we felt so sorry for her.
It isn't that we shouldn't have felt sorry for her. Her conditions were severe, and she was sometimes more triggered by our daily presence than we were by her stalking. It just took us a while to take action. We didn't look after our own rights quickly enough. This was partly because, for a number of reasons, our time in the UK was really tough. But it's just another example of the wind chime debacle.
I may be queer, I may be a minority, but I still deserve my safety. I still deserve peace. Who doesn't? I hope you know that you do too.
It's time to trust my neighbors, who are honestly quite nice, to come to us if there's an issue with the wind chimes. Besides, isn't there a gift here, too? I remember when spring first hit in Massachusetts, and I went for a walk to clear my head, the weather was breezy, and the wind chimes were sounding. Music lulled me, all around the neighborhood—the sound of gentle, lulling bells. I remember feeling the blessing of it, the knowledge that spring was here with all its glorious music.
Hell, they can always take the chimes down themselves, if we hang them on the porch! We can even leave them a note, inviting this. And perhaps our neighbors will be in two minds too. "Those chimes might keep me awake at night, but why would I stopper the music?" they might say.
And why would we deny them that?
Love yourself, queerly dear,
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