My Neighbor

Transmitter wrote this terribly early in the morning:

My neighbor is odd. I would say eccentric, but to me that implies some sort of tolerance. I have no more tolerance for him. Yes, he amuses me, but I find my good-natured patience slipping away.

When I first met him, he seemed interesting. He teaches philosophy, and we began an engaging conversation in the hall while I was on my way to the coffee shop to read. Toward the end of the conversation he showed interest in the Herman Hesse book that I grabbed on my way out. I told him that I had already read it a few times, but that I wanted something lighter than “House of Leaves,” which I had just started reading. At the mention of “House of Leaves” he declared that he’d been meaning to read it and that he wanted to write down the ISBN number.

Before I could even open my mouth to say, “I’ll go grab it for you,” he had pushed his way into my apartment. He then distracted himself with random items throughout my apartment, flipping through my records, looking at my other books, and noticing differences between his layout and mine. Welcoming himself further and further into my apartment with each inquiry, he finally made it back to my kitchen, which left only my bedroom on the list of rooms to explore. I positioned myself between him and my bedroom, ready to break his arm if he reached for the door. Discretion must have come over him, (it sure wasn’t intimidation) and he halted his exploration.

I had several other passing conversations with him, coming and going. During these brief exchanges he would always guard his door as if he expected me to be equally invasive. Only once have I seen a glimpse of his apartment when his door accidently swung open during one of our chats. Clothes, books, and assorted household items were piled everywhere. It looked more like a burial ground than an apartment.

Several months later on St. Patrick’s day he walked into my apartment uninvited again. I had a few friends over, mostly just to use my apartment for a base from which to enjoy the huge parade and street party that happens every year in my Dogtown neighborhood. We were back in the kitchen stocking up for a walk around the neighborhood when one of my friends turns to me says, “Um, some guy is in your apartment.” And, as I said, “What! Where?” my neighbor poked his head around the wall. He had welcomed himself in to ask me to turn down the music, the music that you couldn’t even hear in the kitchen at four in the afternoon on fucking St. Patrick’s day in Dogtown! Needless to say, I was playing Flogging Molly, Irish punk rock, and people were doing keg stands on the street outside.

Several months after my first encounter with him we start talking, of all things, about bad neighbors. He ends up telling me a story about the apartment that he used to live in. The people across from him were always being loud and having tons of people over. He thought that amungst the rucus he heard the sounds of guns being cocked and taken apart. He waited one day for his neighbors to leave and, suspecting that they didn’t lock their door, he let himself into their apartment. Inside he found enough guns to supply a small army and tons of drugs. He called the police and single-handedly brought down a dangerous drug ring that had been elluding the authorities for a long time.

He, of course, was very proud of his privacy invasion. But, even in this extreme case, I can’t help but be disturbed by his shameless invasions. I always double check that my door is locked now.

Now his apartment full of crap is starting to creep closer and closer to my apartment. He’s been keeping his shoes, books, bags of stuff, paper, and food on the landing between our front doors. He frequently comes out and rustles through his bags, slamming them around, and making tons of noise at all hours right outside my door.

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