Friday, August 6, 2010

In A Neighborly Way, Part 4

So, to recap, I've lived next to and above a drug dealer, an unwed mother and several people who are familiar with a nightly head count and who have heard the words, “Lights out!” and “Lock down.” way too many times.

The really fun people have lived below me. First up after the elderly lady (I REALLY miss her) were a mother/father/son. Before I go on, let me explain that if I stand at the top of my stairs, I can hear everything-I mean, everything-above a normal conversation's volume from the lower apartment.

It's the largest unit, but still, sound does travel. All sound, if you know what I mean. (Refer back to the first tenants I spoke of in the old apartment building). Anyway, this 'family' was the worst for fights and arguing and kid crying constantly and banging and crashing and stomping. I never heard a happy moment. Now, the interesting part comes when they up and just move out and the ex-Marine and the landlord, after a few months, go in to clean out the place. During the clean out the woman comes back and protests that she doesn't have their stuff out yet. The landlord's reply was basically, “You do now.” The tenants had destroyed cabinets, doors, door frames, put holes in the wall and literally turned the place into a landfill. The ex-Marine told me they took out six Dumpster loads and six truck loads of trash. They had found, uh, inappropriate items and, uh,-how can I put this delicately (sorry, I can't)-used feminine products in with the child's toys. I'm glad they're gone, but unfortunately, somewhere in this world, another house is being de-valued and a youngster is growing up in misery.

Next up are the (seemingly) happy family. Mother/father/son. Son laughs when dad plays with him, there are sounds (short-lived) of, uh, wedded bliss, if you know what I mean, and if by if you don't, have your mother explain it to you. Ah, but all good things... I hear some mildly heated discussions about drug abuse and infidelity and how she doesn't support his band and his dreams and soon they are adios.

A single guy moves in for a couple of months and I don't see him until about a week before he leaves. Never knew too much about him.

At the time of this writing (several weeks before posting), there is currently another threesome (bearded biker/his world weary, looking wife (who, according to another neighbor has been smoking way too much meth, the older son and sometimes his girlfriend. They are on there way out, hopefully within a week, or more hopefully within a couple of days.

I don't know too much of the problems they've had with the landlord (other than they threatened to kill him and who, by the way is an entire posting unto himself, but because I still pay rent to him, I guess, I'll forgo the details, other than to say-criminal [no unfamiliarity there], has left the place unpainted for a number of years, has been trying to install central air since April, didn't fix a bathtub stoppage for two months and a broken bathroom faucet [which HE broke] for four months. But otherwise...a niceguy.) but for the first few days after they moved in, there was a lot banging and slamming and crashing and the dropping of what surely must have been sixteen pound bowling balls. And argue? Oh, my word. Snipe a little here, yell a little there, stomp around mad and sulky for awhile, then repeat it all the next day. On the first beautiful day of this year, they started in at eight in the morning and she was still pick, pick, picking at him twelve hours later. I have stood at the top of my stairs eavesdropping on numerous occasions and still don't believe the nonsensical spats. Most of the time, he'd get fed up with her and storm out and race away on the motorcycle.

Currently, their problems have turned personal as a couple of days ago, I had trouble with a breaker tripping. I subsequently came to learn from the landlord that downstairs has had their power off for awhile and the reason my microwave kept tripping the breaker was because the rats down there have been nibbling at my cheese. Unfortunately, I probably won't get reimbursed, but I sure would like to go John Wayne on their butts.

So, what's been the point of these last neighborly posts? Well, aren't all these experiences just absolute wonderful fodder for stories? Feel free to use any characters mentioned and contact me for details if you want. The stories are so much better told orally. Now that I have them written down, I can refer back to them and pick and choose for future stories of mine. I mean, you just can't make up this stuff

Plus, unless and until I move to the next place, I predict the world will keep coming to my doorstep and the pile of usable material will just keep growing.

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