Sleep has been hard to come by these days. The mobbers are aggravated that they have not scared me out of my home, at least, that’s the way it seems. The night before last, they woke me twice before 4:00 am despite the sound boards at my windows. Last night, exhausted, I did not attempt to sleep in my bedroom and just slept on the living room couch, a location closer to the public street. As the harassers change their strategy in response to my use of sound board and earplugs, I change mine, stacking scraps of sound board behind other panels cut to the sizes of the window frames, changing the way I use earplugs, and trying to train myself to sleep on my back instead of on my side with my ear against the pillow.
When I was an undergraduate student, I worked—often two jobs—and did not have time to participate in the protests against apartheid that were then rocking the San Francisco Bay Area. Now in my 50s, being mobbed in a Seattle neighborhood run amok with real estate speculation has literally brought activism home to me.
This afternoon I was outside in my garden when I heard the voice of the real estate agent of a nearby house that I was told could not be sold at the price point they wanted for it while I was in the neighborhood.
“Hello,” she said. I kept working.
“Hello,” she repeated in a louder voice.
And then even louder, and closer, “Hello!”
I turned around and without further ado she asked if I had a hammer she could borrow. She must have wanted it for the “For Sale” sign that was finally erected Monday, months and months after the house was taken off of the market when a deal apparently collapsed. That was, apparently coincidentally, right after the afternoon an inspection truck was parked in the driveway of the house with all the relevant parties in attendance. The sale’s collapse was blamed on me. This was, of course, well before the mobbing began.
No, I did not have a hammer she could borrow.
I asked her who she was. She was indeed the named signatory of the letter that my landlords had given me a copy of at the beginning of summer. It was a letter that demanded that I stop playing my radio outside and never speak to anyone about the sale of the house lest they attempt to get a restraining order against me.
The agent, of course, works for a very well known and large real estate company in the State of Washington, one with offices scattered throughout the City of Seattle.
“I didn’t write that letter,” she said.
Then she said she hadn’t signed such a letter.
Finally she said that it was possible her client might have written such a letter. Presumably, her “client” would be the owner of the house with the “For Sale” sign that required the use of a hammer.
I told her I’d send a copy of it to her manager. Of course, I had to express my astonishment that she would ask me to borrow a hammer after such a letter. At that point, or perhaps it was after I told her to get off of my property, she said it would be best if we did not speak further.
I thought not.