There were only 4 apartments in the building that we lived in for so long so we never had more than 3 sets of neighbors at any given time. On the 1st floor was a hall leading to the laundry room and the garages. On the 2nd floor were apartments 201 and 202 and on the 3rd floor were apartments 303 and 304. We lived in 304 which was right above 201 which makes no sense. When we 1st moved in I knocked on apartment 201, introduced myself and explained to the mom that we were moving in above her and that my children hadn’t lived in an apartment before and asked if she’d please let me know if they were too loud before complaining to the management. She agreed and asked the same of me. Later I met the dad. I think the dad came up to my apartment and introduced himself. He introduced himself as Junebug. Really? Who would do that? Right, but apparently he did go by that name. Junebug was definitely a character. A week after he introduced himself I ran into him in the laundry room. Somewhere during the week I’d changed my hair color, nothing drastic like when I dyed my hair black. I think I went from brunette to auburn or vise versa. When I ran into Junebug in the laundry room he introduced himself again and mentioned that he’d never seen me in the building before. That was Junebug. I ran into him a lot through the next couple years and he was always friendly and generally funny. The last time I saw Junebug he showed up at my door late on a Saturday night and was completely drunk. He had a gun and said that he had a bullet in his pocket and that he wanted to kill himself. I’d just gotten home from work, the kids were sleeping and Rob was there. My niece, Kelly, and her friend, Wanita, had babysat and I think Rob was there to take Kelly and Wanita home so that I wouldn’t have to get the kids out of bed to take the girls home. So drunk, with a gun in hand and a bullet in his pocket Junebug came to the door. I didn’t see that as a threat. Rob didn’t live there, however, and he wasn’t comfortable with the situation. He stepped out into the hall to talk to Junebug and was gone about 10 minutes before the police showed up. These were the days before cell phones so I knew Rob hadn’t called them. Kelly, Wanita and I watched from the window in the sitting room as Junebug was taken away and we never saw him again. Turns out it was his wife that called the police, she and the kids lived below us for a few more years.
After the mom and her kids moved out 3 20-something people moved in. They threw parties every weekend. Because their apartment # was 201 lots of people who attended those parties assumed they needed to walk up 2 flights of stairs and because I didn’t lock my door until bedtime we had lots of people walk in on us unexpectedly. Yes, I could have locked the door but that would have stopped us from getting a kick out of all the surprised faces that walked through the door expecting a party atmosphere and finding a mom and 3 children. Cheap kicks, get ’em where you can.
The 20-something people moved out and a family of mom, dad and 2 boys under 10 moved in. Did I say “mom’? I’m pretty sure I meant “weird mom”. The garbage cans were kept in the garages and our garage was next to weird mom’s. The night before garbage day we all pulled the garbage cans out of our garage. Simple, I know. One day I got a call from the apartment manager, apparently I had been complained about. I was accused of aiming my garbage can at their garage. In all fairness, the apartment manager let me know upfront that she was highly embarrassed that she had to call me, like the police they have to address every complaint. How does one aim a garbage can at someone’s garage unless it’s on a catapult? The can always opened facing the parking lot so I’ve never quite understood that. My apartment manager also told me that she was pretty sure that I also hadn’t parked in front of weird mom’s garage or left things outside of their apartment door either. She was right, I hadn’t. Apparently this woman used to dumpster dive in my garbage as well because I saw stuff I’d thrown out on either her front or back deck. Maybe she was just irritated that I didn’t throw out more stuff. Both of her boys were over 5 and for some reason or another (I’d blame it on the mom) the boys still pooped in their pants. Several times I’d walk into the laundry room where one or both of them were forced to wash out their underwear in the sink. Weird mom also strung a clothes line across her front deck where she’d then make her boys hang their undies to dry. Not the back deck where virtually no one would see it, but the front deck as if telling the world “I have shit my pants”. Thank God they didn’t live there long.
Across the hall from me, for a time, we had Bart and Laurie. They had a daughter Alex’ age that all of my children got along with. One day Bart’s dad moved in with them, that was all good too. All good up until the point where I walked into my garage when dirtbag-boy was working on my car and there was Bart’s dad, old, long black hair, highly wrinkled, no teeth and drunk as a skunk laughing in the most menacing way I’ve ever heard and that made it kind of scary. Found out later that Bart’s dad had gone to live with them after being in rehab. Guess who it was that fed him alcohol, right, dirtbag. A few nights later there was a knock at my door and we all went to answer it and there was Bart’s dad again completely toasted and repeating that evil, evil laugh. That scared my children. After that, Bart’s dad disappeared.
Weird Irving. Weird Irving lived across the parking lot and one building over originally. He and his wife had the handicapped apartment. One day an ambulance pulled up and took her away. She never came back. After that he moved out of the handicapped apartment and into my building down one floor on the other side of the building. Across from me at the time was a young couple with a toddler. They were directly above Irving. Everyone knows what toddlers do, they run. Of course they do, they’ve just learned how and it’s the coolest thing in the entire world! Irving didn’t like anyone running over his head. Several, several times he’d come up to my floor and bang on the door across the hall and bitch that poor mom out for the noise in his apartment. Wow, he’d have her in tears. Many times I’d enter the hall and try to calm him down and let him know that this was a toddler that he was bitching about and that it was daytime and he hadn’t been wasn’t woken up or kept awake and whatever and he just wanted to be mad and yell at someone. Old effin coot. Eventually, of course, the young couple and their toddler across the hall moved out. After that Irving got a little weirder. I don’t know if he had the hearing Horton had or if he used to wait for me to get home from work but for the next week whenever I was walking up the 1st 15 (out of 32) stairs to get to my apartment and was on his little strip of hall that led to his apartment he’d open the door and offer me something. Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter. The something was always an object. This went on for about a week straight. I only specifically remember 2 items, once it was a lamp. Well you know because I always open my door and offer people lamps. Doesn’t everyone? I think that must have been the most strange item and that’s why I’d remember that one. The other one I remember specifically was a 6 pack of Michelob. Items such as a lamp are very easy to not accept (even when pushed) because I could always say “I have no place to put that”. Ya just can’t say that about a 6 pack of beer. Irving told me that someone had given it to him and that he doesn’t drink. I let him know that I’d never drink it either. We went back and forth and back and forth and finally he told me that maybe someone I knew would drink it. After a long night at work and another 10 minutes in the hall arguing with Irving I agreed to take the Michelob off his hands. That’s all it took. Guessing he was on a mission to give me something, anything, and I finally accepted something and that’s where it stopped. Irving moved out before I did and made it a point to let me know where he was moving and all the good things about the new complex and I haven’t spoken with him since. Moved into this house in 2003 and frequently I see Irving walk past my house. He’s not stalking me, as far as the front of the house goes I live on a busy street. As far as the back of the house goes, I live in heaven. Irving doesn’t drive and he walks everywhere and I just make a point to never let him see me. That works.
This is getting long, we had Greg, the stoner that I worked with, we had of course Andre, we had the pastor and his daughter and her children, we had the Mexicans who moved in below me. Wait, I have to tell this story. This still makes me laugh and I can never tell my parents. Shannon had a cat whom we adored and this cat had personality, no doubt, and she was a valued member of our family for as long as we could have her but this cat did not practice litter box rules. When one cat doesn’t follow the litter box rules, the other cats don’t either. We usually had 3 cats, one for each kid. Anyway apparently Alex’ mattress on his bed had been used as a urinal by cats enough times to force me to toss it out. My parents, God bless them, had purchased a new mattress for Alex. My parents went top of the line and spent way more than I would have for a new mattress for Alex. It was beautiful. They’d gotten him a pillow top when pillow tops had 1st come into being. Tall, sparkling, inviting…I never slept in Alex’ bed when he had this mattress but is was entirely impressive looking. Six months after my parents bought Alex this mattress we needed to throw that out as well (which is why I’ll never tell my parents). The stench was unmistakable and pungent. Time to purge the beautiful mattress and buy a newer, less expensive and non-smelly mattress. Did that, no choice. The smelly, yet new looking and beautiful mattress went out to garbage the night before garbage day. The following day I got up, got the kids off to school, took a shower and went out to run errands. That all happened before the garbage was picked up. When I went out to run errands I noticed that the beautiful (yet stench ridden) mattress was missing and a very cheap, slim mattress was put in it’s place.
That still cracks me up. But I laugh easily.