Being a realist, of course I know the odds of having a ‘bad neighbor’ is higher than finding a good one. They don’t have to be inherently bad people, just inconsiderate, weird or even clumsy.
Well, I’ve had my share of both the scheming and the aloof ones. The results more or less the same: A person that affects your peace of mind in the comfort of your own home. The place that should be your refuge; where you can be unbothered during your weekends, rest after a long day of work or something so simple as having a good night’s sleep without interruptions.
Not gonna lie. I’ve had very bad situations. Nothing life-threatening, but it has gotten nasty once or twice. To the point where I decided to cut my losses and just break the lease early because my wellbeing is WAY MORE VALUABLE than a security deposit or moving costs. (Yes, I know that not a lot of people can say that sentence. They would have to suck it up or deal with the problem personally because the mobility and resources are less).
Here’s a short description and story of a couple of them. Hope you appreciate your ‘good neighbors’ more after reading this. I’ll use nicknames to avoid calling them by their real ones.
Old army veteran: This guy was roughly 70 years old. He sat down on his balcony (side by side from mine) and just drank the whole day. Yes, he was an alcoholic. But one of the nice ones. He would wake up every day and start drinking around early AM then be in bed by 8pm. He even offered me some beers and boxed wine from time to time. Sounds cool, right? Well, three drawbacks from our relationship. One: he would entice you to drink with him, every single day. Literally just leave the beers on my side of the apt, and call out “hey, they’re getting warm!” I’m like, dude, it’s 9am on a Tuesday. Get it together, I have to go to work. Here’s the thing, if I declined, he would take it personally and stopped being nice for a couple of days, maybe a week. If I said yes, I would have to listen to all his stories (after 3 weeks they’re the same ones). It would suck up all my time just by being courteous. Couldn’t just take the beer and leave, that’s not cool. Two: He would play Salsa music, loudly, at random. Never at night, always during the day. But still. You don’t want to listen to Hector Lavoe or Fania All Stars blasting out on a Wednesday morning at 10am. It gets old, fast. Three: If I had girls visiting (happened more frequently during my young adult years), he would cat-called them from the balcony. Girls would laugh it off. “Look at this old man hitting on me”. But the man was thirsty, and some times he would cross the line trying to be ‘funny’.
Old lady: House next door. This lady lived with a baby (I guess it was her granddaughter, and she took care of her every day). This lady would peep out her window and try to look at mine, the one facing my bedroom. Here’s where it got sour, if I had sex (again, happened more frequently during my young adult years) she would either open up her windows and try to get a peep or close hers and start yelling curses. I’ll admit. It got loud a couple of times. I was completely aloof that those sounds traveled so far outside. We had a good 3 to 4 meters between us. But no walls, so sound went from my bedroom directly to hers. The bomb exploded twice. One time she called the police and they treated it as a domestic disturbance. They even interviewed the girl separately to confirm if there was any foul play. The second time she ambushed me outside and started screaming at me. The whole fucking scene.
Lawyer: She lived on the ground floor (I was on the second). Solid concrete building, which made it easier to mask any loud noises. My Rottweiler was a 3 month puppy when I moved there. Search the definition of ‘destruction’ and you’ll find a picture of him. When I was in the apt, there was no problem. But when I left for work or hanging out. This dog would THROW stuff around. I’m not shitting you. Everything from old baseball-softballs, to even finding my dining table chairs in the other side of the room. I was genuinely impressed. The lawyer wasn’t. To be honest, she was on the right. Even though Danzo didn’t bark a lot, he did make noises around the house. There was no way of me knowing what has happening in the apartment while I was gone, just had to take her word for it. The landlady handled it perfectly, just gave me a warning. Luckily for me, she was a dog person and loved mine. Apparently her late husband used to love big breeds, and their house outside the city had 3 dogs. This situation lasted about 2 to 3 months. The ground floor neighbor ultimately moved out. I think it ended amicably because my dog stopped being such a huge pain in the ass (a little bit) before she left. But to this day, I still wonder what exactly was she hearing throughout the day that was so bad, that she even made a formal complaint.
This was just ONE apartment.
Part 2 should come soon…