Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weird acting neighbors (paca)

I've had a series of odd neighborly behavior lately.

1) I've run into my nipple-ringed shirtless neighbor a few more times since my last posting, and the nipple rings are becoming the less interesting item. What's starting to fascinate me is whether or not he ever puts on a shirt. I saw him around 2:00 this afternoon and then later at 7 in the evening. No shirt either time. I'm contemplating keeping a log. How many times can I see someone before I ever see them with a shirt on? I'm beginning to suspect it could be a while. (It might be worth noting that this neighbor spontaneously offered to help me bring in loads of groceries from Sam's Club at the 2:00 sighting, so this has nothing to do with his character. It's entirely a matter of amusement at the lack of fabric on his torso. Ever.)

2) Due to the fever, I stayed home about three hours extra on Thursday morning, and at one point heard someone outside my window asking another person for a couple quarters to finish her laundry. I glanced out and discovered it to be a neighbor**, but I did not recognize the person who was opening her purse and handing a quarter over. Indeed, after the quarter was given, the askee kept on going down the sidewalk to some other destination. In other words, my neighbor had just stood outside on the sidewalk and asked a complete stranger for money.


3) I was lying in my bed reading Noam Chomsky's Nature and Language (1999) at 11:30 on a Saturday night, like any good linguistics grad student, and a couple people were talking outside my window. Well, really one person seemed to be talking. It ran something like, "and the little aparment right down here is ADORable." I didn't know what she was talking about, since there are mutiple little apartments around. Then I heard her go on. "I can see naked legs. Legs wearing boxers."

Well, that's me. Our mini-blinds were down, so it wasn't like I was doing a nipple-ringed-guy thing where he sits on his sofa right beside his open door. But there apparently was about a single inch, maybe two, gap between the bottom of the window and one of the blinds. So they had to be trying to look in to notice my amazing gams. My first thought of course was, "are you really peeping into someone's apartment?" and next was, "and who would talk about their peeping at full voice while still engaged in it?"

I couldn't help but imagine a peeping tom huddled in the bushes next to a woman's bedroom window peering through a crack while the woman undressed -- providing voice-over narration the whole time, three feet from the victim as she listened:

"Here I am, Tom Q. Peep, standing behind the astrumeria looking in at Jane from work. She'll never know I'm here. Oh, she has removed her Penny's dress that I watched her purchase last September from behind the belt display. It looks like she's got a new bra and panties set. I'll go through her trash later to see if I can find the receipt. Oh, it looks like she's picked up the phone and dialed a number. I can't quite tell what it is, but the first number was a 9 and it was short. There was at least one 1. She seems to be speaking to someone softly. I think I heard the words 'stalker freak'... 'brainless'... 'come quickly'.... I wonder what that's all about."

All I'm saying is when you are being sneaky, don't tell everyone while still doing it.

On the good side, our overly curious naighbor did say our apartment was adorable. On the bad side, she never made the same comment about the naked legs.


Perhaps I should clarify the word "neighbor". We are in a one bedroom apartment on the first floor, right at the front, so that the front door is 4 feet from the sidewalk. Our building only has 4 apartments. Two on the first and two on the second. There's us as a young family, a young couple (nipple-ring guy and partner), another family with one older boy above us, and some mysterious set of college age guys with visiting females in the final apartment. I've never figured out who actually lives there. Then across the driveway are 5 or 6 more apartments. We do laundry in that building. For the most part I don't know who's in there or exactly where. There's one family who are the only people who've been here longer than us. Never spoken to them. There's a guy who drives a stretch limo (and perhaps does some autobody work on the side in our driveway). And there's this group that's anywhere from 2 to 15 in size. I think it's 2 or 3 with visitors, but those visitors are there a LOT. Then on the opposite side of our place are a couple more buildings. We don't hear from them much except for when parking. However, the apartment straight across from B's bedroom is inhabited by a Native American guy who likes to play Native American music every once in a while really loud. Even at, say, 1:30 AM. Sometimes its really cool like when he was chanting once and I wanted to run over there and yell, "do you speak any languages other than English? Really?! Teach me! Teach me!". Mostly, it's just really loud music at bad times.


bunnygirl said...

Apartment living can be quite an adventure! I once lived in a complex that was popular with gay crowd. In and of itself, that wasn't a problem, but the day we had a group doing gay deaf water ballet/synchronized swimming in the apartment pool was... weird.

How do you manage with a kid in a one-br? Dan and I manage okay, and certainly when it comes to space I have to clean, small is good. But I would think having a kid underfoot in close quarters would make it very hard to study.

pacatrue said...

Our favorite neighbors so far were a group of gay men lead by a guy in the Coast Guard of Navy. (Do they both have white dress uniforms?) They were the perfect combination of quiet and friendly and lived in the apartment filled with amorphous college guys now. Unfortunately, they got fed up when a drug-addled dude broke into their aparment once and then a couple months later some other guy started stalking their place and yelling for them to come down and fight because they had asked him to be quiet. I know they testified to put the burglar away, and I think the police handled crazy fighting man, too, but I understood why they wanted to find a quieter part of town.

From all of this, our little place sounds like a bastion of the criminal, but it's really not that bad. Part of the key to things is being clueless. The Navy neighbor once told me there was a fistfight right outside our bedroom window one night, but apparently N and I slept through it. Peaceful night for us.

To answer the one-bedroom question, it would be nicer to have more space, but it's very difficult to afford more. We are actually paying $50 more now per month in rent than we did on the mortgage to our three bedroom home in TN. We could get more if we moved to the far desert side of the island, but then we'd spend all we saved on gas for the commute. However, our one bedroom place is fairly large, as large as several of the two bedrooms we looked at. But you are right, I do not study when B is awake. From 4:30 - 9:00 is family time and then I study again from 9:00 - 1:00 AM or so.

-E said...

i think i have a challenge for you... meet your neighbors.

i suggest that you: have a weenie roast, ice cream social, buy a couple dozen donuts or some other inexpensive sharable food item; set out a table in a common area with the food laid out and talk to the people who come for the free food.