There are a total of eight units in my apartment building, and when I moved in, I made an effort to knock on people’s doors and introduce myself. Some of my neighbors—the older, possibly retired ones—seemed wary of me. Who is this young person knocking on my door, and what does he want? Oh, he’s just saying hello? Okay, goodbye!
I instantly figured out who had beef with whom. “Well, I hope you don’t get bothered by that guy who lives in 2A!” one neighbor said loudly into the hallway. “He likes to blast his music all day! You wonder if he even has a job.”
My favorite neighbors were the ones who lived next to me. They were a young, newlywed couple from the South with a big golden lab named Angus. “Oh, someone in New York who smiles and says hello!” they said. “Feel free to come over and chat any time!” They recently moved.
I have not yet met the people who moved into that apartment last week, but I do have a sense of who they are.
They order takeout every night. The delivery person comes at the same hour every night like clockwork.
They smoke pot. The bouquet of weed that lingers in the air is unmistakeable, and although I have no judgement, I fear that the other neighbors will come to the conclusion that since the smell is coming from my floor, I might be the one responsible for it.
They watch ESPN and root for particular teams, and you can tell which ones and imagine them leaping to their feet, each time they yell “OOOOH!”
They have strained relationships with their loved ones. They often take their phone conversations out into the hallway, or in front of the building, saying things like, “I wish I could come home and visit more often, too.”
They love animals. “This is a dog building. We should get a dog,” I’ve heard one of them say.
I look forward to meeting them.
Photo: Bkln Guy