My neighbour has built a wall. Hundreds of feet high but you can’t tell just by looking at it – it’s the size of his intent, his ego that pushes it higher. When you see it out of the corner of your eye, you know.
Up, up it went, making a border between his clouds and mine until even heaven has him banging on their door demanding entry: ‘It’s the Party Wall, you see. Reasonable access. Etcetera’
He patrols every morning with invisible dogs that send his cats yowling in protest over to my side to shit on the lollo rosso. All his cats are named after composers or musical instruments but none of them can hold a tune.
When I water the garden at 7pm each night I play the jets over their wall. At first they shouted but now, because I have learned to let their words wash over me, they pretend nothing is happening, sit there wet through eating their tea.
He comes in the night to poison the climbers I trained up the wall (nimble-footed with their ropes and spikes). I hear him stumbling into traps I have laid. That’s how he lost his foot. I found some bloodied toes next to the razor wire, but he only lost his hair to the garrotte – turned out he was shorter than
I’d thought. I have imported snakes, and planted shards of glass around the roots of the new plants.
The moon still has to choose which side to shine on, but the sun has plumped for mine, ripening my tomatoes nicely until they wither suddenly on the brink of blushing. I spot a pipe coming from his side through a small tunnel into their pots. Poison.
I steal his grand child. It is playing outside alone one day and easily lured by ice cream. They have been looking everywhere. I have a hostage to the wall. I have no grandchildren myself.