She fucking pisses me off.
The neighbor fucking pisses me off.
Her 8-sided octagonal mirror really fucking pisses me off, you know, the one that’s hanging there in her dining room with her brand new fake-vintage-style chairs, and her dresser slash display case with its glass doors and mirrored back, which she’s stuffed full to bursting with that cute brass star which she must have bought down at the San Angel Saturday market way back when all those supposedly handmade arts and crafts from Tlaquepaque were still in vogue back in 1998, right next to the designer mini-speakers connected to her Mac which she’s always sitting in front of, her back turned to me, fixating on her smartphone while the glowing screen of her Mac lights her up but also illuminates those impossibly psychedelic colors of her African marigolds, those weird flowers they call flor de muertos, “flower of the dead”, in Mexico, with that bizarre Aztec name, cempazúchitl, and the way it’s lighting up her face, she looks a little like a corpse herself, a sexy corpse, but the truth is, it’s not her Mac screen that makes her look so bright, but the energy-efficient earth-friendly hundred million watt lightbulb in her ergonomically-designed lamp that helps me be a Peeping Tom – just like Leon-O of the Thundercats – who can see across great distances with his ‘Sight beyond Sight’ – so I can stare at her when she’s wearing her flesh-colored mini thong (is it there? or isn’t it?) coming out of her bathroom and going into her bedroom, her back turned just like Jennifer Aniston in that film with Vince Vaughan and then she slowly turns around, 45 degrees, just so she can stop and stare at herself in the mirror built into her door, with me all the while staring at her from my kitchen as she’s staring at herself while she puts on her all-black outfit, and she’s gotta be thinking, “girl, you are sooo hot,” and me going, “she’s gotta be some kind of high-class call girl?”, that’s sure as hell what I’m thinking, the kind of logical conclusion which occurs to people who fucking hate octagonal mirrors and designer speakers which every morning, come rain or shine, are blasting out jazz and/or some more contemporary tunes which actually sound like music as they leak into my ears, and all the way inside my nocturnal owl mind, still half-asleep at 10 in the morning, so, yeah, I gotta admit, maybe the problem isn’t the neighbor, maybe it’s me, cause how fucking many times have I come out of my bathroom going to my bedroom to put on the exact same clothes as she’s wearing? How many times have I put on the music and how many neighbors think the exact same things about me that I’m thinking about her, how much she fucking pisses me off, but maybe I’m the one that’s pissing everyone off, needing, sure as shit, to fucking piss off someone, which is really just another way, isn’t it, of needing to…flow. To just let it all go. Even though I figure that to have a house, or a place you call home, that’s something that takes years to put together, putting a table here, hanging a painting there, something you pick up over time, from some people who come, or others who stay behind, it doesn’t all happen in one day after making that big move, the one where everything gets written down in a list, each thing in its own place, starting with that kitchy brass ‘handmade’ star from Tlaquepaque that’s been oh-so-carefully positioned in a place of honor over the display case slash dresser with those little glass doors that ever seem to protect anything important, and its fake wood-grain surface that’s really nothing but machine-stamped cardboard, and finally, and always, her goddamn built-in octagonal mirror, the one she’s always staring into like the narcissist she is, the one where I can see my own reflection right now, staring back at me with that Mona Lisa smile, my own face telling me who-do-you-think-you’re-fucking-kidding, who-do-you-think-you’re-looking-at-anyway?
I’m the neighbor, too.
originally published on September 4, 2016
original text “Su espejo octagonal” by Adriana Degetau
collaborative translation by Miguel Tejada-Flores