Friday, July 23, 2010

In a Neighborly Way, Part 2

Where did we leave off last week? I'd found this apartment house near downtown. Reasonable rent, bigger place. Methodist church east across the street. A separate living room, kitchen, bedroom, a little bit bigger bathroom. It used to be a regular house, but it had been converted to three apartments and an efficiency unit smaller than my last one. I moved into the upstairs left, the second biggest unit. Downstairs is the largest and next door to me is a little smaller. There are two connecting doors upstairs between the apartments and we share the attic. In my unit, there is a set of stairs leading down to a small balcony with a connecting door to the lower apartment just inside my door. I can see into the kitchen window of the lower unit from my outside stairs. I have a northern facing door and the efficiency is at the bottom my stairs, the lower unit has an eastern door and the other upper a western. A parking area on the west side alongside a garage.
The parking area was usually for the efficiency tenant, but none has ever owned a car, so I've parked there. The others get off or curb parking.

My living room has exactly two outlets, kitchen two and the bedroom one. Yeah, not a well put together design. The bedroom closet’s two wall don’t face each square, so the clothes rod is at an angle and can’t handle too much weight. I think the arranger was stoned when he laid out the place.

Got the picture in your mind?

Now, as for neighbors. I don't know if I can remember the exact order, but I'll be close. First, let me talk about the neighbors across the street. I live on a corner and the house on the opposite side could be a nice place if a little money were invested, but, so far, the only thing replaced throughout the years are the door and a window frame. New stuff looking out of place in a ramshackle structure. The first tenants there were odd ducks. The woman sometimes made a point of crossing the street to talk to me, even though I hadn't initiated the conversation. In fact, most neighbors usually have told me their life stories without my even asking...usually after they'd had a few, if you know what I mean. Anyway, the couple across the street ended up with legal troubles, a notice of eviction was put on their door and they were gone. Two other couples have lived there, the current owning a couple of unattractive dogs who only want to play but usually end up getting yelled at.

Next to that house is another, first painted a urine yellow, then repainted a dismal gray. The wonderful thing about that experience was the owners started painting with an electric sprayer at 7:30 in the morning, so while I tried to sleep, I kept hearing intermittent buzzes. Some younger folks lived there and didn't bother replacing the hydraulic arm on the storm door, so in and out they'd go and WHAM, WHAM went the door. Just a little annoying. The current occupants are wonderful people who I had to bring the police to because I thought (can't prove it) I heard hand smacking flesh one late night.

Next door to that house live a boring family who I rarely see. The previous occupants, though, had the cops over to chat at least once a year. Father, mother, teenage daughter. The memorable incident I remember is the father stepping outside to sit on the front steps to smoke. A few minutes later, the mother and daughter come out and scream at each other at the tops of their lungs. “F--- you!” “Well, f--- you! I hate your guts.” and similar statements, usually with the inappropriate wording. Meanwhile, passersby are getting an earful, but the humorous sight is the father sitting calmly, still smoking, not getting involved. For him it was same stuff, different day. So yeah, here come the cops and the mother screams she wants the cops to take the daughter, doesn't want to deal with her anymore. Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear the end of that family moment as the conversation's volume lowered.

Anyway, onto my humble abode and the revolving door of nutjobs I've seen throughout the last eight years.

Tune in next week, same bat channel.

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