I’m gonna write about my neighbor because I hate her.
I generally try to get along with the people I live near. I’m not that friendly but I’m not a shitty neighbor. I try to keep the noise down after the normal day person hours. I generally live a much quieter life than I would if I didn’t have to. I am inclined to play loud punk music and dance all night. When I have people living in the same building I do my damnedest to be respectful. I’m also rather self aware. I have come to a place in my life where I am content to live the way I do. I know myself and I know what is important to me. I live across the street from a liquor store because I like to drink beer. I like to drink alone. I live in a rather urban area and most of the buildings in the surrounding area are inhabitated by gentrifying hipsters, the few African American families that still live in the area, obviously being pushed to the other side of the river.
When I moved into the building more than a year ago the other units were entirely inhabited by single white men. There were not families, there were not children. The building was awake late into the night and it seemed that the other residents had a similar habit of heading across the street to the liquor store about ten minutes before closing time. I fit right in with my alcoholic vampire ways.
A few months passed and one of the units became available on the first floor. I thought about renting it and turing it into a dungeon, a spare place to house people who come to visit, or a spot to grow weed. None of these made any sense as I already have a huge flat and really didn’t need to take on the studio. It is the sort of thing I always want to do, rent another unit in a building where I am content and would like a little more room, for some invented reason that I only invented because when a unit is available I think about the things I could do with it. Nah, I knew I should not rent it. So I didn’t. When the landlord did rent it he rented it to the first person who was not black. I watched it happen. My landlord is a racist. Apparently he thought a young single mom with three babies, no car, no job, who smokes constantly and screams when she exhales would be a better fit than a person of color. I blame my landlords racist rental practices for my current dilemma: I have a heckling hippie at the bottom of my stairs. What the hell did I do to deserve this?
At first she seemed friendly. She invited me to stop in and say hi. I hung out. I got drunk with her friends. But many months passed and in that time she has morphed into WORST NEIGHBOR OF THE DECADE. Even worse than when I lived next to this guy:
She has taken to heckling me when I come down the stairs. She follows me out to my car, screams at me, talks shit about me to anyone she can including her five year old child. She knows me as an allies, so she is always saying this fake name she knows me as, then following it up with all these bizarre comments. She comes out of her apartment when I come down the stairs, to taunt me. Yesterday I realized that she is not a neighbor she is a heckler. She is that person who comes into a comedy club and makes snarky comments at the comics, she is the retired stripper or the big fat dude who got way too drunk and sits there saying things like ‘is that all you got, show me some more baby, oh yeah, work the pole’ totally distracting the other patrons and trying to throw the performer. There are two ways to deal with a heckler. Confront them and make them ashamed for their actions and thus shutting them up, or ignore them and hope they will grow tired of the nonsense and shut the fuck up. Eventually they get tossed out of the club.
I tried confronting her. You see she digs holes in the parking area. She told me she was building a fire pit. I asked her if she had considered the safety of the situation. The pit is next to a wooden fence, under a very low hanging tree, eight feet from the building, and NEXT TO MY CAR. I was polite and suggested that her fire pit could set things ablaze and that it would really suck to have the place burn down. She began screaming at me while she dusted off the propane grill that sits next to her ‘fire pit’ she went on and on about how paranoid and scared I am of fire. This is an urban environment. We are in a mixed use commercial space, walking distance to Nordstroms. A fire pit is illegal. I asked her if the landlord knew. She assured me that it was fine and that nothing would catch fire. While screaming at the top of her lungs, at 2:30 in the morning.
Why is she digging a hole at 2:30 in the morning? Why is she screaming at me? Who the fuck is this nutter living downstairs? Why is she so interested in me that she has taken to heckling me as I come and go? What the hell did I do to deserve this?