My Summer as a shut in
My new-this-Summer neighbor is a mean mother effin' drunk.
Why else would someone build a fire pit directly across from their neighbor's living room window?
Why else would someone decide to build a fire only after seeing the neighbor's windows open?
Why else would someone build a fire if the only window open was to the neighbor's cat's enclosure?
Why else would someone decide to make the fire extra smoky, so the smoke goes in the windows?
Why else would someone leave the smoky fire unattended for hours?
Why else would someone, knowing the neighbor can't breathe the smoke, keep doing this?
Why else would someone ask the mask wearing neighbor where they got the mask?
Why else this?
Why else that?
When my neighbors first moved in, they would invite me to sit by the fire with them. I would decline, telling them I couldn't breathe the smoke. I told them I was allergic to lodgepole pine smoke. So, I would go in the house, and not open the windows on their side of my place.
Then fire season came to Montana. Smokey the Bear signs showed the fire danger was "Extreme". That meant no more fires in the neighbor's fire pit. No more lodgepole pine smoke coming in my place.
The air during fire season is thick and milky colored. I couldn't open the windows. I drove to and from town with my N95 mask on. My neighbor would be outside, and see me in my mask. Question me about my mask. Question me about the smoke.
A couple of days ago the Smokey the Bear sign read "Very High". I came home, and my neighbor had a fire going. He walked up and was talking to me. I couldn't understand a word he slurred. It was one of those conversations where you don't want to agree with them, because you don't know what you are agreeing to. You don't know what they are saying. He continued to slur. I stopped listening. I went in my place to catch my breath, from the lodgepole pine smoke.
Every day since some of the fire ban was lifted, my neighbor has had a fire. Wait, sometimes it's just a smoke. All you see is smoke, no fire. Wet lodgepole pine smoke. The kind that I can't breathe. The kind that my air purifier can't keep up with, even with the windows and curtains closed.