Two doors down from me is a neighbor in his mid-forties living the bachelor life, very friendly and well-read, who occasionally drinks seven or eight Stellas from a big plastic cup full of ice and wanders into my apartment shouting. Normally he wants to talk about Trump (whom he adores), or a writer he likes, or Miami history. He’s always perfectly pleasant and cordial (save for the volume, which I don’t think he can control) but the other night, when I finished up a double shift at the bar and got home at 10:30, exhausted and hungry, I found this friendly drunken neighbor shouting in my living room, chatting with my roommate.
I was a bit short with him, cuz I just wanted to eat and go to sleep and I knew he’d be a roadblock against both. I’d brought home a meal, but I’d come home with food in the past, and tried eating it in the apartment while he was over here drunk, and he just stared at me while I chewed, and kept asking for food, which I tend not to share.
So I brush my teeth and the neighbor is in the hallway, watching me do it, trying to be provocative with his humor. I don’t take the bait.
Don’t even give him a polite smile.
Just brush, rinse, head to my room and shut the light and close the door.
I knew he was gonna go on being loud, talking at my roommate, so I took the max-dose of melatonin and took two big rips off a CBD joint and crawled into bed. My limbs were all heavy from work and I was kinda stoned, drifting in and out of sleep–but then, as soon as I slipped into a good doze, the neighbor would shout something, and I’d wake up.
After the third or fourth time I got off my bed and pulled the door open and told him to keep his voice down, sounding a bit angrier than I should have, and after shutting my door I heard him wrap things up with my roommate…creep out of the apartment…and then creep back to the apartment…knocking clumsily on a window… “I forgot my phone!”
Now it’s awkward cuz each of us are coming and going our cars pass each other in the parking lot, but we haven’t traded hellos or anything. Not sure how this’ll be resolved, or if it ever will be. Feels silly. But here we are.