The Bard and Jester

Welcome Readers! Here you will find some real life experiences and musings that I'd like to share with you. So, come on in, if you have the time and I'll do my best to be entertaining... Please click on my sponsors' links!!! Established March 12, 2005.

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Location: New York, United States

I can be a clown, a poet, a fool, a romantic, a diplomat, a all depends upon the timing and circumstance.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Strange Neighbors & Events Of Our First Apartment PART 4: The Final Straw

For Rent
Originally uploaded by vraven.
(continued from Part 3)

The night before Halloween, the driver side window of my wife's car was smashed in by vandals. Though the complex had a parking lot, our private entrance faced the street and so it was convenient to park at the curb...until the vandalism started, that is.

It was the surburbs and street lamps were few and far between. Our section was particulary dark, unless we left our outside light on (the super never replaced the bulb of the security lights after it burned out)...and even then, the street was draped in heavy shadow.

The October of that year, gangs of punks went around Long Island, smashing windows. That Halloween night, after the trick-or-treaters ceased their rounds, I kept a lone vigil near our vehicles, hidden in the shadows behind a tree close to the curb, with a thin metal pipe hidden up the sleeves of my black duster.

Remembering that night, I think of John Travolta's character, Vincent Vega, from PULP FICTION, who, angry about his car having been keyed up by vandals, said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "I wish I could've caught would've been worth him doing it just so I could've caught him." That's pretty much how I felt that Halloween night.

Though I frightened a crowd of teenagers going about egging and shaving creaming each other (I thought they may be the vandals I waited for and peeked around the tree--which spooked them and they ran away), I never caught the vandals. I'm glad I didn't; who knows what sort of legal trouble I would've accrued.

After that, my wife and I parked our cars in the lot, which was behind our building and a bit of a walk, but we never had trouble again.

A couple of months passed and in that time we had a new neighbor move into the Crachit apartment. The old saying, "Three's the charm" was true about the third person to occupy the apartment. His name was Randy, a man of perhaps 50, with long white hair and a flamboyant character. In the cold weather, he wore a fur coat colored like a lion's mane and looked like something from the 60's. In fact, it reminded me of a coat I once saw Jim Morrison wear in a photo. Each apartment used to have its own mailbox, but that changed and all mailboxes were moved to a centralized location in the complex. Randy ranted on and on about this, "The Post Office...screwing us again!"

Though he was certainly colorful, he wasn't a bother like the Crachits or the Putana and her pimp. When you walked past Randy's apartment on the way to the parking lot, you often heard video game sound effects and music blasting from his open windows.

Another new neighbor occupied Alan's old apartment...well, occupied isn't really the right word. I don't believe he actually lived there, but simply used it. His name was Ernie, a man in his 40's with a brand new BMW. Ernie, I noticed was only there in the daytime--be it a weekday or the weekend--and only for a brief time in which a freckled, reddish-blonde woman, in her late 30's, would arrive in a little, mid-90's sport car a few minutes after him. They'd come out of the apartment some 40 minutes or so later, kiss goodbye and then leave in their separate cars.

It seemed to my wife and I that they were having a secret affair and that Ernie maintained the apartment simply for that purpose. I remember that, when Ernie first "moved in" and I had warned him about parking on the street here, he asked, "What about in the it okay then?"

Yeah, I'd say his apartment was defintely a love nest for his tryst with the reddish-blonde woman.

But the final straw for my wife and I came when a new neighbor moved in below us, in the apartment vacated by Dad and his muslim family.

It was a single mom and her young child. Her nickname became The Bitch and I'll tell why shortly. She was one of those inconsiderate people who, when moving into a new place, begin the actual unloading of furniture and boxes after 9 pm. She had a guy on a Harley helping her move who had parked on the sidewalk just outside her door and below our bedroom windows. They must've finished sometime after 11 pm, because my wife and I were awoken by the sounds of the Harley's engine exploding into life.

That first week after her arrival, we began to hear a mysterious rapid banging sound from the apartment below. It was erratic and went on all night, past 10 pm, every night.

I finally went down and knocked on our new neighbor's door to complain. She was a nasty woman with a scowl not unlike Mrs. Crachit's and adversarial eyes. I made my complaint and asked her to be more courteous to her neighbors.

She snapped back that she had an autistic child and that she can't help his fits. I sympathized but asked that she take away from him whatever he uses to bang on the wooden floors with all night long.

The Bitch said that he didn't have anything to bang with. I then said, "Well, please take off his shoes then."

She said he wasn't wearing any.

I frowned. If you had heard the racket going on below us--which sounded like a carpenter's shop--you wouldn't believe that a 5 year old autistic child could make that heavy banging with merely bare fists or feet.

The racket went on every night, all night long...sometimes waking us from our slumber. I got into shouting matches with the Bitch...I mean, I sympathized with the woman's plight, but autistic child or not, we couldn't sleep!

I put in a formal compaint to the landlord, who was reluctant to get involved...probably because it concerned an autistic he did nothing.

That was it.

My wife and I decided to spend about $600 a month more on rent to move into a nice gated complex a few miles from here. I wrote the landlord a professional letter, outlying all the problems past and present and asking him to find the kindness in his heart to release us from our lease.

He did...I guess it was easier for him to do that then deal with any potential legal issues regarding the autistic child.

We moved out and it was for best. We're now in a very nice place...a large two bedroom aparment with a terrace, a pool, a gym, tennis and basketball courts, grounds keepers, reserved parking spots and security patrols.

We can laugh now as we think back upon the strange neighbors and events of our first apartment.


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