July 12, 2007
Living in a moderately trashy apartment complex is weird. The all-American neighborly dynamic just isn't there. You know how it goes when someone buys a house--neighbors bring baked goods, bbq invitations are swapped, and cups of sugar are lovingly passed through kitchen windows. That is so not how it goes in complexes like mine.
Every single weekend we see a new U-Haul pull into the parking lot and few guys unload the truck. Usually within three or so months, the new tenant gets dumped and/or deported and/or evicted and/or arrested and/or just realizes how yuck-o these apartments really are and hastily moves out. Go ahead, call me a flaming biz-natch, but most of the time I feel like it's just not worth the energy to learn most of my neighbor's names.
But here's what makes things totally weird. We share walls, ceilings, and floors with these people.
A lot of times I'll see one of these nameless neighbors in the parking lot and be like "Hey You!" And I'm really thinking "So. Who do you think should have won that argument last night? Don't you think I had some valid points?" or "How'd I do with that time-out for James?" or "Do you like my singing voice?" Because you know they hear every word.
Yesterday I had one of these encounters. I was walking through the parking lot when my neighbor yelled off his balcony, insisting that he could teach my eight year-old dog to sit. He bounded down his stairs, handed me his crystal goblet of wine-in-a-box, and began the sitting lessons. Listen --I don't know this guy's name, but I can guarantee that it's not "The Dog Whisperer." Gracie wouldn't sit.
Anyway, after his failed attempt(s), Mr. Sit and I started chatting about who-knows-what. He mentioned to me that his company is transferring him to New Jersey...right out of New York City. After a few go-rounds about New York I said, "It's expensive up there, huh?"
He kind of guffawed and replied, "Trust me, I'm not at all worried about that."
And that's when I thought to myself, "Dude. Get real. I saw your Jetta get repossessed yesterday."
Maybe he hasn't realized that it's gone yet. Oh well. But damn you guys--that repo man had some mad skillz. That car went from parking space to flatbed and was out of there in 45 seconds flat.
Oh apartment life--you just can't hide anything...except your name.