Friday, January 13, 2006


On Friday, I ask my apartment manager who's coming back, who's gone. It's about fifty-fifty, she tells me.

Birdman below me and his developmentally challenged sister, who recently gave me a huge Tweety doll, albeit one with dirt caked into its beak and solidified there by months, if not years, of neglect, a gesture that was friendly but whose trigger I just cannot figure, have gone. Both could be hard to take.

Birdman was a ceiling beater. Any time I dropped something or, say, fell and almost twisted something, loud bangs would greet me in the form of his fists on my floor, as if I'd set off an avalanche when his ape-like objections eclipsed any sonic disturbances on my end. Being a quiet person, this didn't happen often, but it was often enough to rattle the nerves and instill that creepy sense of being over-observed.

His sister liked me, though she almost had a coronary when she saw me sitting on the roof above them, hanging with my cat, watching the sunset. Seems the older gent who lived in my place for many years got sick of the ceiling banger and became a voracious noisemaker, going so far as to drag furniture onto the roof and jump up and down there, too - until the day he caved in their ceiling. Perhaps it was poetic justice; it's tough to take sides in disputes between total nutjobs.

This same gent set some bad standards for the men next door, one of whom routinely walked around naked in front of a window with no curtain - the window that faced off my stairway, porch and only passage to and from my apartment. After numerous attempts to alleviate this problem, both through his more personable and normal roommate and the apartment manager, attempts he retaliated against by blasting music on my back wall at 6 and 7 A.M., moving my porch furniture around, and putting up not just any curtain, but a see-through curtain, I called the cops. When one opens their front door and finds a psychologically displaced junkie man standing naked in front of a screen door five feet away, one calls for backup.

Additional backup will be required in my post-apocalypse future.

Written November 10, 2005.


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