Psycho Neighbor

Just to make those last few days a little more fun, we had a little run-in with the asshole neighbor downstairs last night. A bit after 11, Mark accidentally knocked over a lamp and broke a light bulb. Not wanting to step in glass all night (and risk a cut which wouldn’t mix well with the blood thinners I take due to my heart-thyroid combo) I made the fatal mistake of turning on the vacuum cleaner for about 45 seconds to pick up the pieces…

It was less than a minute; it wasn’t like I was vacuuming the house from front to back for a long period of time, but shortly after I finished came the loud banging on the door. I didn’t even bother to answer it lest I lay into the son of a bitch, who unfortunately also happens to be a friend of the landlord. Before bed, though, I did leave notes on the doors of my downstairs and next door neighbors, explaining the situation and apologizing if it had caused any problems…

Mike downstairs is just your basic garden variety prick and busybody whose life is so miserable that he feels the need to spread it around and make everyone else miserable too. In earlier days, I’d tried to be pleasant and neighborly to him. One year, I even had him up for my Christmas gathering, at which point he got drunk (as is his custom) and embarrassed himself and everyone else there…

The past few years, though, he just became impossible to cope with. So I stopped even trying, speaking to him only when absolutely necessary. Like the time when the 90-year-old plumbing in our kitchen sink finally gave way. Unbeknown to us, water was running down the back of the building. He came up, banging on the door, yelling “What the fuck are you guys doing?” as if we were shooting a hose out the window merely to torment him, rather than innocently washing the dishes…

Yes, Mike hasn’t been much of a neighbor. I think Mark’s moving in really pissed him off, whether due to the “extra noise” or just because it meant someone else actually to be happy. Any other neighbor would have congratulated us or at least feigned pleasantness. Not him…

What I might have told him last night is that I was tired of ten years of trying to be a good neighbor to him. I’d have mentioned the outstanding lengths I’ve gone to over the years to avoid making him deal with excessive noise. I’d have added that I’d put up with his perpetual hammer-banging and “renovation” for years without a complaint, not to mention smelling his nasty second-had cigar smoke and putting up with his nosiness and his snide comments about what he’d heard from my bedroom the night before…

Some people miss their neighbors when they move. Right now, I don’t particularly care if this one lives or dies. And if he says a word to me, including “hello”, before we leave, I’ll probably advise him that it would be really easy for us not have to speak to each other again at all for the next five days…

Just to make those last few days a little more fun, we had a little run-in with the asshole neighbor downstairs last night. A bit after 11, Mark accidentally knocked over a lamp and broke a light bulb. Not wanting to step in glass all night (and risk a cut which wouldn’t mix well with the blood thinners I take due to my heart-thyroid combo) I made the fatal mistake of turning on the vacuum cleaner for about 45 seconds to pick up the pieces…

It was less than a minute; it wasn’t like I was vacuuming the house from front to back for a long period of time, but shortly after I finished came the loud banging on the door. I didn’t even bother to answer it lest I lay into the son of a bitch, who unfortunately also happens to be a friend of the landlord. Before bed, though, I did leave notes on the doors of my downstairs and next door neighbors, explaining the situation and apologizing if it had caused any problems…

Mike downstairs is just your basic garden variety prick and busybody whose life is so miserable that he feels the need to spread it around and make everyone else miserable too. In earlier days, I’d tried to be pleasant and neighborly to him. One year, I even had him up for my Christmas gathering, at which point he got drunk (as is his custom) and embarrassed himself and everyone else there…

The past few years, though, he just became impossible to cope with. So I stopped even trying, speaking to him only when absolutely necessary. Like the time when the 90-year-old plumbing in our kitchen sink finally gave way. Unbeknown to us, water was running down the back of the building. He came up, banging on the door, yelling “What the fuck are you guys doing?” as if we were shooting a hose out the window merely to torment him, rather than innocently washing the dishes…

Yes, Mike hasn’t been much of a neighbor. I think Mark’s moving in really pissed him off, whether due to the “extra noise” or just because it meant someone else actually to be happy. Any other neighbor would have congratulated us or at least feigned pleasantness. Not him…

What I might have told him last night is that I was tired of ten years of trying to be a good neighbor to him. I’d have mentioned the outstanding lengths I’ve gone to over the years to avoid making him deal with excessive noise. I’d have added that I’d put up with his perpetual hammer-banging and “renovation” for years without a complaint, not to mention smelling his nasty second-had cigar smoke and putting up with his nosiness and his snide comments about what he’d heard from my bedroom the night before…

Some people miss their neighbors when they move. Right now, I don’t particularly care if this one lives or dies. And if he says a word to me, including “hello”, before we leave, I’ll probably advise him that it would be really easy for us not have to speak to each other again at all for the next five days…

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