Love thy neighbor


As far as neighbors go, I’m lucky. I don’t have to deal with loud, middle-of-the-night drunkenness, garbage in the hallways, or yapping dogs. In Westchester I lived under a family who apparently wasn’t aware that I existed below their jumping-around kids. In Boston I first lived next to two college girls who’d get into screaming arguments, calling each other names like “vindictive cunt” and throwing chairs, then down the street from a couple who fought at least once a week due to the husband’s gambling problem. In my current building, there’s just one quiet kid and no screaming couples who aren’t have sex.

But that’s not to say that my fellow walk-up dwellers don’t have their quirks.

The guy next door is almost never home, but when he is usually seems to be in the company of a flock of former frat boys who cheer, chant, and moan at various sporting events. Every few months the family down the hall has a party, after which the shouted goodbyes and thank yous down the stairwell go on longer than the party itself.

But the dude above me takes the cake. I have no idea what he looks like. He sounds young, but the music he blasts seems to be John Cougar Mellencamp’s greatest hits. John Cougar frigging Mellencamp. Except for last night when he changed things up and blared the theme song from The Greatest American Hero three times in a row. Yes: Believe it or not/I’m walking on air/Who thought I could feel so free-ee-ee. Believe it.

And when he’s not thumping out best of the ’80s tunes, he’s playing Vangelis on his keyboard, better known as the theme song from Chariots of Fire. Please note this is the only song he plays.

Congratulations, Mr. Upstairs, I crown you King of Cheesedom. May you rule wisely and in Hawaiian shirts.

But what must my neighbors think of me? Is she seriously walking around at 5 in the morning? Guess she has a boyfriend now! Oops, guess not. Is that the 20th episode of Law & Order she’s watching? Still beats living in the ‘burbs.

[Photo courtesy of Buster Keaton Photo Gallery.]

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