Thursday, April 12, 2007

Neighbors From Hell

I live on the second, and topmost floor of my apartment complex. I have four “neighbors” in this building. Next door to me are two female grad students. I often bump into them coming out and into the apartment. They are both very nice and we involve ourselves into the small talk of acquaintances.

Downstairs, below the grad students, reside a young couple with a little girl. They too seem pleasant enough, and we exchange “hellos” from time to time. Both adults are smokers, and while it is wise of them to do this activity outside, away from the child, I will admit to some annoyance at smelling that foul odor when I am out on my porch. But I don’t smell it too often, so I don’t mind so much.

(Humorous side story: my first night in the apartment I witnessed the woman and child bid the man farewell for the weekend which was shortly by the man watching hard core pornography on his television. Still brining boxes in from the car I passed by his window several times, which was only covered by a light-weight sheen curtain, whereupon I could see into his apartment and what was on the TV.)

Both of these apartments have been occupied by the same people since we moved in. The apartment below us, however, is now on its third tenants. The first couple stayed about a year and were pleasant enough. I rarely saw the, and though they had a big dog, I never heard it bark. The second couple were a little rough looking (think young bikers) and had a habit of playing their music at ungodly levels. Their stereo had the big bass hook up, so we would often hear this –thump thump thump – emanating through our floor. Though I must say they only did so during daylight hours, so our slumber was never disturbed.

The current family is about to do me in. It is a middle aged couple with a son who I’d guess was in his early twenties.

They are all compulsive chain smokers. One day, as I was pulling into the complex, I saw them open their door and quite literally a wall of smoke came shooting out. The smell seeps up through the piping causing our bathroom, utility room, and furnace to smell like a giant ashtray. We now burn scented candles non-stop in the bathroom to help us not vomit.

Though their cars seem to be held together with duct tape, they have what appears to be a very expensive, wide-screen, high definition television. This is played at high volume at all hours of day and night. It is not a rare thing to be waken up at two in the morning to hear its roar.

Speaking of their automobiles, the son drives a very old Blazer with an engine that sounds like a sick volcano. It revs and roars and makes me want to shoot it to get it out of its misery. The son also carries on some very odd hours and it is normal to hear him coming and going at all hours of the day and night.

Recently, they have started storing a large lawnmower next to the outside apartment stairs. It’s not all that noticeable, but just adds to the trailer park feel they have already created.

The final straw, in my mind, is the fact that the mom parks her old, rusting mini-van in a no parking area. Like most apartments and businesses there is a section of the sidewalk leading to the apartments that dips down allowing wheeled access to the parking lot. This dip allows wheelchairs and dollies a smooth transition from the lot to the sidewalk and thus our apartments. The section of the parking lot that connects with this dip has big, bright lines painted across it to indicate that nobody is to park there. It’s common courtesy to not park in these areas so that any wheelchairs or dollies can have that access.

My neighbor continually parks there. I know this is a small thing, and the truth is we don’t have any wheel chairs in the complex, and the UPS guy can manage, but this just burns me up. I am nothing if not a rule follower, and it’s not like there isn’t plenty of space in our lot. It is never full. This woman is just lazy. She’ll park in the no-parking spot to save herself from walking an extra ten feet.

I’ve been having fantasies about drilling a hole through the floor and poisoning them.

Somebody buy me a house, please.


Jamison said...

Warning Signs Of Living Near A Lab
Strong odor of solvents.
Residences with windows blacked out.
Iodine or chemical stained bathroom or kitchen fixtures.
Renters who pay their landlords in cash.
Increased activity, especially at night.
Excessive trash.

Just report them to your health dept that you think they have a meth lab (annonymous of course.)
If that doesnt work, report pot smoking. Just to ruin thier day.

Jamison said...

Or, look at some affordable housing. Big step, but everything you described is something I never have to deal with, even greeting neighbors.

CL said...

Do something really nice for them. Meet a need that you precieve they have. Fulfill the idea of "love your neighbor as yourself" and see what happens.
After that, go talk to them, tell them your struggles, especially the ones that aren't really petty and actually, truly affect your family. Be kind. Love them, but be honest.

midnitcafe said...

I love the two extremes here - call the cops with trumped up charges, or love them.

We hope to not be here long. Couple of more months and with luck we'll either be in Tennessee or North Carolina, or China or somewhere.

Jamison said...

Brew, you pointing out the extreems made me laugh. Remember when we made peanut butter cookies for the folks above us in Monticello? She brought us brownies once. I think we just thought she was super hot.

Chris is right, take them some cookies your wife made and lace them with Drano.... Kidding of course.

mullinz8 said...

Tennessee you say?

I think you should give them some brownies laced with Pot then call the cops. This way you'll be covering both extremes. Blessed and forgiven all in one swoop.

Amy Beth Brewster said...

Mat forgot to mention that we have seen the cops at their door. It's a been while since then...We haven't seen much police activity since. Still I avoid parking my car next to one of their's. And in the middle of the night, we hear the cars coming and going and the van door sliding open. When Mat was out of town, it bothered me a lot.

Jamison said...

SEE????? METH!!!!!

Of course, the cops may be buyers too.