Neighbors
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.

5 comments:

Michemily said...

I wonder if I'm in for crazy things like that in Germany. Maybe I'll get an 8-year-old dog and name her Gracie. I always wanted a Bernese Mountain Dog.

The Ramos Family said...

Ok, so this is going to be a long (although related) story. Last winter we were working with the police to catch some of our tenants (they had a quite a harvest of pot growing in the apartment upstairs). Anyway, to this day the girl maintains her innocence and says she had "no idea" what her boyfriend was doing in the closet with grow lights....uh huh. So, they were arrested and taken to jail..blah, blah, blah. I pull up to Coffee Express this morning to get my frozen hot chocolate and guess who is working there? Our former tenant. I attempt to discreetly pull my sunglasses back on in the hope that she doesn't spit in my drink. Hmmm....Bangor, ME what a small town huh?

Rob & Katy said...

in my neighborhood, we live close enough to hear each other burp. because they're free standing houses though, we are obligated to have neighborly banter. i imagine anonymity can be nice sometimes...

Grandma said...

Is he selling those classy bar stools that are out on his balcony? Hey Amy the complex photographs well! But I've heard the 2am phone calls people make in the "echo" courtyard.
In a weird way you'll miss some of it..especially when you're snowed in and your car is so frozen it can't move! p.s. Gracie, tell the guy to sit on it himself.Doesn't he know about greyhounds?

Patty said...

I live in a house, on a cozy cul-de-sac, and I've lived here for 3 years. And I am not ashamed to say that of the 10 other houses on this street, I only know the name of 2 neighbors. And one of them is because we accidentally get his mail at least once a month. Friendly neighbors are overrated. LMAO. I mean, seriously, who has time for that foolishness?