Monday, October 12, 2009

In Which I Meet The Neighbors

It occurred to me recently that I haven't talked about the people that live in my apartment building. Considering all the horror stories I've heard from other people about the crazy people they've got living around them, I've got a pretty tame bunch of neighbors. They are generally pretty quiet and respectful, and after living here for five months, I've got no real complaints. When The Boss and I first moved in, the more social people in the building were really nice and welcoming. As time passed, I've gotten to know the rest of the people in the building, and while I'm sure they are nice people, too, they are the bruised apples in the bunch.

On the first floor, there's this hermit lady with a crazy eye (you know, the kind of eye where you can't tell if she's looking at you or off to the side) and hair like a troll doll. She hides out in her apartment most of the time, but when she decides to make an appearance, she'll do really odd things. Like spending a few hours picking shreds of peeling paint off of the fence, occasionally smelling deeply a freshly peeled paint scrap before dropping it to the ground. Or approaching me when I was cooking a few burgers on the grill that one time and asking me, "Do you know how to turn the water off? The hose water? Should I cut the blue wire or the red wire?" and without waiting for my response, rushed hurriedly away, whispering to herself.

Yeah. We've gotten used to ignoring her when she talks to us. Just like algebra, she'll never make any sense.

On our floor at the end of the hall, we've got an older married couple who I've gotten used to calling The Kinks. They are an extremely quiet couple, enough so that for the first couple of weeks of living in this building, we didn't even know someone occupied their unit. We had lived here for about a month when I heard this strange noise coming from down the hall when I was taking out the trash. As I walked down the hall, I noticed the sound was coming from their unit. After a few moments I noticed a distinct rhythm to the noise, and deduced that I was hearing two people getting it on. LOUDLY. It wasn't hot or kinky sounding sex. In fact, it didn't sound like either of them were enjoying it at all. She was screaming like she was being slowly tortured with a melon baller, and the way he was grunting and moaning, it sounded like he was trying to pass an unusually large bowel movement. And, man, the dirty talk! I'm pretty tolerant of dirty language, but the crap that came out of their mouths made me blush as I passed by.

When I finally saw them for the first time, I wouldn't have guessed they were the same couple I had heard bumping uglies just a few days prior. What, with their neatly pressed and expensive church-going clothes, looking like the 2009 Prudes Of The Year.

On the basement level of the building is this old, balding French guy who lives by himself. He's retired, and spends a majority of his time drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. It doesn't matter what time it is, every time I've seen this guy, he's had a beer in one hand (the earliest time on record is 7:30 AM) and a cigarette in the other. He wears dentures but often forgets to use adhesives to keep them in place. I know this because I've seen him yawn or cough or sneeze and wind up with a handful of teeth. Despite all the things this guy has going for him, once a week he'll get dressed up all snappy, slap some Sea-Bond on his chompers, and get picked up in this gleaming Lincoln Towncar driven by an elegant looking old woman with a giant poodle sitting on the front seat.

I try not imagine what they do on their weekly dates.

The rest of the people around us don't really stand out. We got the couple across the hall that fight all the time, and the unemployed guy my age who plays loud video games all day that lives below us. To one side of us, we've got the woman that refuses to say "hello" to The Boss and I whenever we see her, and the woman to the other side of us who runs her garbage disposal for minutes at a time and odd hours of the night. Not a bad bunch of people, all things considered.

Beats a pair of farting landlords any day.

27 Comments:

Logical Libby said...

Are you sure you aren't living in a European dark comedy? Cause it sure sounds like it...

The Good Cook said...

I am a bit concerned that you don't consider any one of these people "bad" neighbors..

But to be honest, every neighborhood has them - even when you own a big old home in the burbs. We have a guy down the street we refer to as Lurch (like from the Addam's Family). He refuses to ever say hello so I make it a point to yell HELLLLOOOOO! whenever I walk the dog past his property.

Then we have Pelt Woman who lives near the Secret Park where I walk the dog. She dresses in Robin Hood Green and Brown and wears a tarp or pelt thing and picks up leaves, acorns, bark etc.. and runs away if you get too near.

The good part is that acres separate us, not just walls.. so I'd say you have it worse. LOVE the description of the French Guy...

Sandy said...

I know you're a pretty easy-going guy but you don't think these are difficult neighbors?

I'd be worried about the troll on the first floor. Sounds like she could burn the joint down one night/day either intentionally or not.

It's been so long since I shared walls with people I forget what it's like. I do, however, have neighbors on either side of me which I just might blog about one day.

Great post, as usual.

Moonspun said...

Everyone knows that you cut the RED wire! :-)
I love the picture of her smelling the paint chips.
And the kinky sex? Shows you never can tell about people and their appearances....
I want to say that I miss having neighbors after reading your post. But...I don't. I'll keep my owls and deer...

Tammy Howard said...

I don't know anybody in my neighborhood. Not one person. Maybe they say things about me and the way I dress to go out to get the mail on jammy days...

It encourages me when I hear about old people getting it on. We'll all be old someday...

Notes From the Grove said...

Hahaha! So many things about this post made me laugh my ass off. When I lived in this one building when I was 21, I had the craziest neighbors. My friends used to love my stories about all the weird shit they did, lol. I kind of miss those crazy assholes!

Coach J said...

Sounds like a movie waiting to happen. But those loud-sex people sound familiar... I think we have the same neighbors.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I have some interesting neighbors as well. Some are quiet, some are, as you know, not so quiet. I've lived communally like this since I was 18, so I am used to the vagaries of having neighbors, but this current experience is making me wish we'd just bought a damn house instead of trying to save money by buying a condo.

Amy said...

UGH...I CAN'T TAKE THAT CRAZY EYE!! SQUIGGS ME OUT!!!

Ahhh, Apartment dwelling! How I miss the melting pot of personalities it inevitably brings out!

I too often heard people getting it on...and it always seemed to be the grossest of people. **shudder**

Mrs Soup said...

I'm impressed you've seen your neighbors enough to discuss them. Impressive.

Andrea said...

This seriously sounds like some Seinfeld material. Your quirky nicknames and interesting stories create vivd and lively characters out of your seemingly "ordinary" neigbors. Kudos :)

Aunt Becky said...

My neighborhood is so fucking tame. What the fuck?

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I echo Mrs Soup! I wish I could also see my neighbours long enough to witness their weirdness!!

dsmcaron said...

Neighbors make the world go 'round.

for the love of pictures said...

Red wire or blue wire? :) Haha, that's too much - and with a crazy eye...haha!

I don't know my neighbors beyond the mandatory 'hi' if I pass them on the steps. I like it that way actually :)

Mad Woman said...

It's always the quiet ones isn't it? I love that none of these faze you too much.

Badass Geek said...

Logical Libby: I agree.

The Good Cook: Well, they are harmless. Hopefully.

Sandy: You should write about them!

Moonspun: I'm wondering what she finds appealing in the smell of paint chips.

Tammy Howard: Indeed.

NFTG: Crazy neighbors do add some fun into apartment living, don't they?

Coach J: Yeah? That'd be interesting.

Amy: I had a really hot landlord once, and I never heard her and her husband gettin' dirty.

Mrs Soup: Thanks... I think.

Andrea: Thanks!

Aunt Becky: It is what it is.

Roshni: Be careful what you wish for.

DSMCaron: Indeed.

FTLOP: I'd prefer that.

Mad Woman: Oh, they're all harmless people. I'm sure they think The Boss and I are weird, too.

Lana said...

i'll trade you my toothless wonder crazy lady for your paint-peeler crazy lady and i'll even throw in the nice maintenance guy who pronounces my name right.

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BeautifulWreck said...

I think we need some pictures. Especially of the crazy troll lady.

As for the Prudes. Not shocking they are having the sex, and talking really dirty. I bet it is in kinky. You have to watch out for those Prudish church goers.

Captain Dumbass said...

You need to make sure crazy lady knows to cut the red wire if you're living in the same building.

Hit 40 said...

The unemployed man might be unemployed due to lack of job hunting effort!! Time to cut off his allowance from mommy and grow up!!

mumma boo said...

Seriously, with your talent and imagination, you could have a whole series of short stories based on these people's lives. Get to it, man! Entertain us!

daria said...

I always worry that _I'm_ the crazy neighbor. What with me coming home at 1am from working on the crisis hotline, for example, to find my husband all passed out with lights on and things are not ready for tomorrow. Some things just have to be expressed in a screaming manner, you know?

And I used to live in a place that had the sex-screaming neighbors underneath (it was two male roommates in the apartment, and the one whose bedroom was underneath my bedroom had some exciting nights). The sex screaming was pretty passionate but lasted NONSTOP for like. hours. Is that even really plausible? I always questioned their sex credibility.

Maureen said...

Makes me drop to me knees in thanks that I have a fully detatched home... my neighbors are far enough away to totally ignore.

Nej said...

The blue wire or the red wire...I want to meet this lady!!!!!! :-)

kay zee said...

Let's see..... At our place there's Old-man-smoky-coughy, and the couple that has a cat-on-a-leash.

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