Who are the people in your neighborhood?
How y'all are tonight?
Ahhh, apartment dwellin'. Don't let me forget the rent is due.
I try not to interact with my neighbors very much. I am an amiable enough misanthrope, of course. I nod and smile; I'll give you a push when your car is stuck in the parking lot after a winter storm. But then I'll keep moving. Because chances are this person I am smiling at is someone I cursed only last night or this morning. Chances are I have prayed to a god I don't believe in for your miserable death by means only a deity could arrange. The dings in my car door were what damned you all. The noise you make coming down the stairs only bolsters my case. Something tells me it wasn't the fucking and the sinning that brought Sodom and Gomorrah down. It was the god damned noise
at 8 o'clock on Sunday morning.
I am sometimes given to naivete or temporary insanity though, in special circumstances. I get to know someone's name. I indulge their need for human contact, or else I indulge my own weakness for it. I always regret it. I have lived in this complex long enough to outlast the worst of my mistakes. I list them here, with their status:
- The Dog Stalker -- moved out two weeks ago and I hope never to see her again. I don't have the space here to relate the story of how I came to avoid her at all costs, to the point of not using the short way to my car. We had a tacit, nonspoken truce of sorts. In fact this had worked so well that when she acquired a constantly yapping dog that shrilly reminded everyone within earshot that wind was blowing (right outside my window at 5am-5:30, and then again from afternoon until night) I knew there was nothing to do but take it. I was unable to even imagine a scenario of alerting her to my inconvenience that didn't involve imitating the bark as close to her ear as I could lunge.
- Muotombo from Senegal-- moved out a couple weeks ago too. Just gone one day. He did nothing to me and I wish him well but I am glad I don't have to try and figure out what he is saying anymore. The special circumstances that led to my stopping and chatting here were White Man's guilt and being incredibly stoned. He was often cobbling together pieces of his '82 tercel with bungee cord out in the parking lot and therefore I frequently had to brush him off with friendliness while getting Rufus to stop trying to play with him. He finally learned his lesson after bumming a cigarette from me and discovering that we are truly from different worlds. The CIA World Factbook tells us that Senegal is a former French colony that is slightly smaller than South Dakota. There is a 94% chance he is muslim. His country doesn't look to be the worst place in Africa to be from, but according to him he gave up a civil engineer job there for doing unskilled manufacturing work here for 6 bones an hour. I stood there and talked to him until he brushed me off. Oh well, another border agreement signed. He studiously ignored me after that. Most of the stupid American impression he got of me was, as I said, due to the language barrier.
- CarWash Homie-- still here, but he has to be treading on thin ice. His third story deck is filled with howling dogs (a beagle, a chow and a young pitbull) and his kid is constantly out with his pitbull, kicking balls at parked cars. I like CarWash Homie ok, he knows "hey whats up" is all the farther we need to know each other unless the place is on fire. His kid seems ok too, other than the fact that he is a kid with a ball and a pitbull. My buddy Eric was by one day and it turns out they work together. Eric fixes the cars, Car Wash Homie cleans them. If I had not known this, he wouldn't be on the list. As it is, I am vulnerable to social interaction. I hope they get kicked out.
Well, so far it seems like life is getting better the longer I live here. But I still don't know who it is playing loud shitty music at 8am on Sundays. The dog stalker's apartment was filled last weekend by heavyset young punks wearing tree trunk highwater jeans. At least the bass I hear might improve. THoooomm thoom TOOOOOOOOM (repeat to infinity or insanity).
posted by M@ at 3:27 PM