Feb. 6th, 2017

mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
 I spent all of today with my new friend L. while her partner J. was at work. I mentioned them here before: we were introduced a few weeks ago by one of my Quaker acquaintances because they're being harassed by their neighbours.

The situation is worse than what the Quakers had led me to believe, although luckily not *immediately* dangerous, but it's sickening how these two perfectly lovely women have had their lives turned upside down and inside out because of some truly hateful people. Their neighbours are going out of their way to make their lives miserable: driving by multiple times a day, revving their engines outside, coming outside and glaring from the edge of their property whenever L. and J. so much as step foot outside to put their recycling to the curb. They'll often stand on their property and make threatening gestures, or get in their various cars and trucks and shine their headlights onto L. and J.'s property. It's mind boggling, is what it is, and L. and J. are living in constant terror. They don't come and go by their front door (the neighbours at the back and front have set up video cameras pointed at each door), they don't go outside by themselves, and if one of them does go out alone it's for the shortest time possible.

Today I got to participate in an elaborate safety ritual they've come up with, which is to ensure that there's always a car parked by the curb in front of their house. When I arrived L. was already parked there, so she had me wait while she pulled their car into their driveway so I could take its place. When J. got home we did the same thing in reverse, except that J. didn't park the car exactly in the right spot the first time (L. has stronger feelings than J. about proper car placement, it seems), and she came back out twice while I was brushing the snow off my car, until L., visibly afraid, came to the door and asked me to tell her to please come inside. All of this took less than five minutes, but when she was done J. *sprinted* back inside.

I'm just so sad and so very angry for them. They have to sell their house at a loss, and in the meantime they can't live anything close to a normal life. They can't eat at their dining room table because the window gives out onto the street, they can't use their front door, they can't enjoy the house that they've sunk their love and money into. It's goddamned terrible, is what it is, and I am so angry that no one advocated for them two years ago, when it might have made a difference. It's too late now, and I understand that they just want this to be over, but goddamn, it breaks my heart that our society is still failing our more vulnerable citizens.

I'm going back tomorrow morning, but won't be able to stay as long. This whole situation sucks.

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