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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Notes For Neighbors

I've spent a goodish amount of time as an apartment dweller. And I like it. If anything needs to be repaired, we simply notify the office and things are restored, free of charge. We don't have to mow, weed, or water. I find this to be a particular relief because as a person who lives with lupus, I really can't handle all of that sun. And if the spirit should move us, and our bodies and bank accounts are willing, we can move if we wish. Not to say that we will; we love where we live now.

We try to be good neighbors. If we are having insomnia and watching the telly  late at night, we are mindful of the sound level. Trent will probably get a chuckle over that and say that I hound him to keep the sound down. We don't run our washer and dryer very late, and when Paris was alive, we tried to make sure we didn't play noisy games with her late at night. Not that we are paragons of virtue. We are only human. Awake time for us might be sleepy time for others. It takes all kinds of working hours to keep the world running.

Our complex, although located very near a quite-busy intersection, is fairly quiet and peaceful. The buildings are only two floors, four apartments per floor. Every apartment is a corner apartment. We have a lovely clubhouse with a workout room, theater, and computers. One of the two swimming pools is about a sixty-second walk away from our front door. So we have a good thing going here.

But no matter where you go, you are bound to have some interesting neighbors. One lovely evening, our friends Marie and Thayne picked us up and took us out to dinner. We arrived at home with out tummies satisfied, and were ready to just lounge about the rest of the evening. Until we saw something just, well, disturbing. As I got out of the car and turned toward our building, I saw our upstairs neighbor through his dining-room window. Our dining room windows have a lovely window seat, and coverings in the form of blinds. Here was our neighbor in front of the window and talking on the telephone. Bare-behind naked. Yes, indeedy, folks. Right there for anyone of any age to see, was a flat-behinded, bulging-bellied, fish-belly-white, hairy naked man. "Ew!" I exclaimed, "I just ate!" Followed by, "Ow, my eyes!"

Our friends were equally surprised, especially when he sat down briefly and then proceeded to pace back and forth in front of the window. It was a true train wreck situation - too horrible to watch, and to horrible not to watch. Hey, I'm no prude. If you want to run around in your own home bare-butt naked, I am fine with it. It helps you keep cool in the summertime. But not everyone wants to see your bare behind. Interestingly enough, one day these people just up and left without even taking their furniture with them. After a few months passed, their furniture and other things were moved out so the apartment could be re-leased. There was a lovely leather sofa sitting in front of the building, and Trent said, "Wow, that's a nice sofa!" I panicked, thinking he might want to have it. "No way! I don't want anything his sweaty testicles have been sitting on!" We both got a chuckle out of my panic. Trent was just observing that they had left some decent furniture behind. Whew.

Today, we came home from a grocery-shopping trip to see a young couple enjoying one another's company on their balcony. And I mean really enjoying. I'm not sure what it is that makes people unaware that people can see what they're doing. Did they miss an important connection in their developing baby-brains? I know that babies, if they can't see you, will think that you are gone. Maybe that's what's going on here. Kinda like people who can't see outside at night because all that's in the window is their reflection, and don't realize that everyone else is getting a fantastic view of every little thing they do.

Inspired by these two incidents, and things that other people I know like or don't like, I have a few notes for neighbors, wherever you are:

Not everyone wants to see your nekkid behind. Or your privates, or little general, or whatever you want to call it. It is also possible that they don't want their two-year-old asking all kinds of questions about what they saw in the window. So follow this simple rule - if the window isn't covered, you should be. Thank you very much.

Your neighbors don't necessarily want to see you getting busy on the balcony. Refer to two-year-olds in the previous scenario. 

Please don't run a dryer full of sneakers at eleven p.m. You might just give someone a heart attack.

That's about it. Not too much complaining. Just remember the brilliant words of Bill and Ted. Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes! (Quietly, if it's about two a.m.!)