Hello Neighbor

Apartment living gives you many opportunities to meet and live around interesting people. For example, we have a next door neighbor named Jim. Jim is very talkative and outgoing. He likes to sit on a green plastic chair that he has placed between our bedroom window and his front door. He sits there and smokes and greets the other people living on this side of our apartment building as they come and go. He sits out there at all hours of the night. Sometimes, while I’m trying to get to sleep, I listen in on conversations he has with neighbors. The other night he told the new woman living upstairs, “As soon as this lease is up I’m moving into a place that I can afford. Not that I can’t afford this place. I want something smaller. Maybe a villa.” A villa? What’s that all about? Is he moving to Italy or something? I’m not a snoop. Really I’m not.

I often wonder why Jim didn’t choose to put his chair on his balcony. We all have a small balcony. It would be an ideal place to put a green plastic chair. He does use his balcony for standing and talking on his cell phone, or standing and smoking, or sometimes standing and drinking beer. One day when I came home, Jim was standing and drinking beer on his balcony. He greeted me and I greeted him in return. Before I knew it he was ranting about his job as the fish guy at a supermarket on the south side of town. “People on the south side just don’t eat seafood,” he told me. “The management doesn’t know what they’re doing. I’ve been working for this company for six years and I’m starting to loose my passion for seafood!” He told me that he was loosing his passion for seafood four more times before his rant ended.

Our new neighbor upstairs has turned my once comfortable apartment life upside down. She moved in about two weeks ago. She seemed nice and harmless enough–a young recently separated woman and he toddler. Since she moved in, however, we can hear her and her boyfriend having sex twice a day on average. They both have parking difficulties and like to park just over the white line so that they are incredibly close to the car next to them. They don’t speak to us. A friendly hello while passing in the parking lot is greeted with a cold turn of the head in the opposite direction. They have strange driving habits that involve running up way too close to you before passing you in an obnoxious manner. Other than that they seem like good people.

These are only two of the examples of people living in my apartment building. There are many other interesting people here. It makes me appreciate that we are all unique individuals. Some of us have loud sex, can’t park and have a passion for seafood.