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I’m very convinced that my apartment complex is a liminal space or some sort of place you’d hear about in welcome to nightvale

I’ve lived here twice now, the first time I couldn’t wait to get out, but the longer I was away the more I missed it, now here I am and I can’t imagine that anywhere else outside of this place exists or why I would ever want to leave

when I walk at night, sometimes to pick up the mail, it’s completely silent except for the pool filter running that I can somehow hear no matter how far I am away from it

the coke machine by the pool always says it’s out of stock but if you feed it coins, not what’s stickered on the options, just feed it coins until it’s satisfied you’ll get a NuGrape and never any other flavor of soda even though NuGrape isn’t a flavor option

the snack machine is always empty and there’s a colony of moths that live in it

at night there’s always a lit cigarette in the ash tray on one of the patio tables by the pool, the pool is still and the surface of the water is like glass and even though it’s clean and perfect you can’t see the bottom 

the dog park is sort of there, on a good day you’re welcome, on other days you can sort of see it out of the corner of your eye but when you look straight at it, it’s not there. when you look away you see the shine of a chain link fence and a small white dog with his owner, but only for a brief moment

staying in the dog park for an extended period of time, if you manage to get into it, makes you feel sort of like you took a lot of xanax, suddenly everything is warm and fuzzy and you’re so calm and oh wow the wooden bench feels so good and comfortable and the sun is pleasant on your skin even in the 96 degree Mississippi summer, then you wake up and it’s almost dark and your skin is buzzing and you’ve slept through the day so you go back inside and drink a cold glass of sweet tea and try not to think about it

the mailboxes are in front of the main office, the little rectangular area is covered in faded astro turf and reaching into your tiny mailbox feels sort of like reaching into a void, you’re never really sure what you’re going to pull out but there’s a trash can especially for junk mail next to it that’s always full and sometimes you can get coupons out of it but they’re always just a day away from expiring

the apartment next to my first is never inhabited longer than the minimum 6 month lease, I called the police on the old man there because one day I didn’t hear his TV and his little dog never stopped barking and there was this smell seeping through our walls and he had passed away in his recliner but no one can stand to live there and the apartment is always being moved in and out of

the baseball field across the road, just in front of my balcony, sometimes around midnight when I’m sitting outside restless drinking a sweet wine and pruning my pepper plants, the field lights kick on and they’re brighter than the sun and they startle me but there’s no one on the field, it’s a school night, nobody could possibly be at the school and after only a few minutes they cut off and the world is much darker and I have to go inside because I can’t see without the porch light on

there was a murder just a couple weeks ago, near the front of the complexes but somehow no one heard the shotgun go off and the police never explained the situation, the apartment was almost immediately back up for rent and no one but the old lady in the townhouse behind my apartment ever spoke about it

the old lady who knew about the murder is my friend, sometimes we sit outside and talk and listen to the cicadas while she smokes and walks her dogs, all her dogs are blind and old but somehow they know me and even from my balcony they smell me and bark until I come down to pet them, why she’s out at 1am I’m not sure but I only ever see her raking up pine straw and walking her dogs and she’s always making sure I’m safe in storms, I don’t even know her name

the soft sea-green colored laundromat has no clocks and only one barred window, the magazines are years old and there’s a copy of a book about WWII that seems to have appeared out of nowhere over the past couple of weeks. there’s no concept of time, the color of the walls reminds you of the beach and it feels like 1992 and even though there’s nobody ever in the laundromat there’s always wet clothes in the washers and only 2 open on the far side near a broken water cooler and a ponytail palm tree that hasn’t moved or been watered in years, the only dryer that really dries your clothes is old and marked 1984 and smells like propane. if you encounter anyone in the laundromat you may pass completely through them; they can’t see you, you try to greet them but when you expect to bump into them in the close quarters you feel as if you’ve passed through a wall of static and your body buzzes and they go about their business as if they’re alone as well

the maintenance man is ancient an has a tiny dog named Trixie and his name is Ham, he wanders around aimlessly and supposedly goes around and changes the air conditioner filters and smoke alarm batteries but I’ve lived here a total of three years and haven’t had a job so I’m here 24/7 and I’ve never had him ring my doorbell a single time. the filters are always clean though, and the smoke alarm light is blinking green again instead of red, I only ever see him on the patio of the office, looking out over the pool and sipping a NuGrape and feeding his tiny dog pieces of bologna

there’s a man who wanders the grounds at night with a hand-crank radio but there’s nothing on the radio but static and sometimes someone repeating numbers with a strange accent that you can’t make out

stairwells always feel like you’re walking through another dimension and at night it seems like they’re endless, it feels like you’re walking and walking and walking even though I’ve counted and there’s 14 steps it feels like you’re walking up 1000 steps and when you get to the top and look down it feels like you’re on the top floor of a high rise even though there’s no building here with more than two floors

the pine trees creak and groan at night trying to speak to you as you walk by but you can never make it out, I make a note of listening to them but sometimes I feel like it’s something important that I’m missing so I go inside and sip a Riesling until I forget about it

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The Twilight Zone - Originial Series (1959 - 1964)

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call “The Twilight Zone”.