I do not smoke in The Grotto for 2 reasons:
1) Out of respect for Lex and Vinny
2) Because our lease prohibits the use of tobacco inside.
In essence, even if I weren't breaking the terms of my lease, I still wouldn't smoke inside.
Generally, this is just fine because, even though we don't have a lovely balcony like modchen and #himself do, we have a little back area outside our private entrance back door that's covered and very well protected from the elements. It's also chock full of creepy but, you know, I'm used to it and whatever.
Tonight, Lex has his gamer friends over. The usual suspects - there are 5 including Lex - are used to me maneuvering around them several times in an evening to get back to my smoking area. It's tight - 3 out of the 5 are big, cuddly men - but I can manage pretty well and they are good natured.
However, tonight there are two new additions to the game making 7 very loud, some quite large, men squashed into the back room with all their bags, laptops, dice, snacks, and drinks. There is literally no way for me to get back to the smoking area without climbing up and over the table to the back door.
Lex's suggestion? He told me to go up the front stairs, around the side (no easy feat given the grade of the hill around the side of the building), down the back stairs, and into the smoking area...and then repeat for the return trip. EVERY time I want to smoke which right at this moment? Is a lot.
I beg your mutherf*cking pardon?
I'm sorry. But that'd be a little like me telling him, "Oh! You mean you guys need to use the bathroom? Well...go out the back, around the side, and in through the front door. Viola! Bathroom. Problem solved."
Can you tell I'm seething mad right now?
I do not mind his gaming proclivities in the slightest. I don't bitch when they are loud and obnoxious well past 10 on a work night anymore than he would bitch about friends of mine coming over and hanging out in the living room until 2. I simply put my ear plugs in, close the door, and try to sleep...even though I don't sleep particularly well until they're all gone. (I think I sense the extra energy in the house which makes it hard to relax).
But this? It's not acceptable that I've been effectively cut off from a "room" that's as critical to me as his bedroom is to him especially when he knows full well this game will be going far past my bedtime.
So...fine. I thought to myself. I'll just pack up the laptop and head over to Charlie Brown's where I can sit out on the smoking patio, grab some supper, and hang out writing and smoking until it's almost time for bed.
Except...when I stepped out the front door to smoke out on the street and contemplate this idea, I was confronted with a string of pedestrians all carrying coolers, lawn chairs, and backpacks heading in the direction of the Botanic Gardens.
That's right. Another massive event - this one B.B. King in concert and sold out - a block from my house. Leaving at this point is not an option or I'll be forced to park 1/2 mile away again and walking a 1/2 mile on a painful foot isn't really an option right now, is it.
* As an aside, on the Botanic Gardens website, they tell concert goers to park in the garage or in the adjacent park because neighborhood parking is restricted...and it totally is! Many of the streets around us are permit parking only on special event nights which means that, unless you've got a permit sticker, you aren't allowed to park there...even if you are a resident in the area and all the unrestricted street parking (like the spaces in and around our house) is taken up by concert goers who don't want to have to fight getting out of the garage after the show.
So yeah. Not only am I being held hostage by Lex and his friends, I'm also held hostage by a repeatedly offensive concert venue.
To top it all off? It looks like rain. Which, under normal circumstances, I'd be cheering gleefully. But not when I'm now forced to smoke out on the street.
*shaking fist at the sky*
Audit final fieldwork starts tomorrow too. Lovely. I quit.