Old Lillian’s Story
He gets me so aggravated.
He tells the landlord that
I leave the door open
And I have cats.
Do you believe that?
I never leave the door open,
And he’s the one with the cat.
Oh, it’s a nice one.
But you know, they tell me cats are hard luck.
But not this cat,
He’s a nice cat.
But he’s not my cat.
I don’t have a cat.
He won’t leave me alone.
He calls me names,
The worst names,
The worst names he can think of.
He bothers me so much.
I don’t bother him.
But he won’t leave me alone.
And he’s gonna get it.
They tell me call the police on him.
And I oughta call the police on him,
But I’d probably get into worse trouble than he would
’cause he tells lies.
He lies about me all the time.
I can’t take his bothering me all the time like that.
I oughta pick up a hammer or something
And get him with it.
That’s what the family next door tells me.
But I’d go right to jail.
Some people get away with murder,
But not me.
I’d kill him with that hammer,
And Coroner Wecht would come and get me right away.
I can’t live in that place anymore.
There’s junk everywhere:
On the floors, on the steps,
Boards, tools, doorknobs,
All kinds of junk.
Twice, I’ve fallen down.
I had to have someone take me to the hospital for x-rays.
Twice, it happened.
I fell down and hit my head,
and it hurt.
There were these boys
Living on the third floor,
And I don’t know what they were doing,
But they caught their apartment on fire.
They moved out.
I don’t think they got into trouble.
But that was last summer,
And the landlord never did finish
Having it cleaned up.
There’s live wires hanging from the ceiling.
That could kill you, you know.
And there’s this man
Comes stumbling in every night
About three in the morning,
And he makes a terrible racket in all that junk.
He’s a mean old man.
He’s a dry cleaner, I think.
Oh, he’s a nasty one,
But he’ll never call you a name,
Not like that other one.
That other one calls you all kinds of names.
And he’s gonna get it.
He takes sleeping pills,
And I know he’s gonna kill himself with them.
He sleeps all day, sometimes.
One day, they’ll find him dead,
And they’ll probably blame it on me.
I don’t have any heat.
It’s like an icebox sometimes,
And I can’t get anybody to light my oven.
I tried myself,
But it flew up in my face,
The flame did,
Burned my eyes.
So now I can’t even heat water for instant coffee.
That’s what I have:
Instant coffee and two pieces of bread a day.
I don’t even feel like eating.
And just when I’m getting out of it,
That man gets me upset all over again.
The girls down at the market said I have to eat more.
They said I’d get malnutrition.
That can kill you, you know.
Sometimes, I think I’d be better off dead.
The landlord’s coming tomorrow.
He’s gonna want his hundred dollars.
A hundred dollars a month– Do you believe it?
He’ll get it over my dead body.
He doesn’t even leave his phone number or address.
He just shows up once a month
And expects his money.
If he finds me dead, it’ll be his fault.
I don’t know what I’m going to do.
This life is hell, I’m telling you.
I’m telling you the truth.