Neighborhood Watch

April 1, 2011 at 6:43 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )


(Disclaimer: this is not an April Fool’s joke, though I kind of wish it was).

If you live in an apartment building, chances are you have some stories about your neighbors.  I know I do.  You may remember such blog posts as the one where the guy leaves food in the hall or the one about the same guy who likes to jump rope at 8am.  Well, I have another neighbor update, but this one is a bit more serious than the ones before.

As seen outside my downstairs neighbor's door

It all started over a week ago, last Tuesday.  I came home from a typical day and as I walked upstairs I noticed yet another mess left by my upstairs neighbor.  However, this one was not in the form of food or trash.  As you can see by the photos, it looked…well, let’s just say it looked rather suspicious.  I actually stopped on the landing outside my bottom neighbor’s door and did my best to investigate what this mysterious white powder was.  I can tell you that it wasn’t baby powder, flour or salt…but I never did figure it out.  I know what it looks like and while I’m not exactly an expert in that area, I don’t think it was anything illegal either.  This find was abnormal, yes, but not completely surprising given what I’ve seen in the halls before.  It did register that the upstairs guy was getting sloppier but what was I going to do, lecture him?  I move out in less than a month and didn’t really want to get involved, so upstairs to my couch I went.  Which means I stepped right over this second pile of white stuff and the hanger (a hanger?  Seriously?), rolling my eyes all the way.

So that was last Tuesday.  Last Wednesday I received a call from my landlord, wanting to know if I had seen or heard anything that could explain the weird white piles in the hallway.  I explained to him that while I heard my neighbor almost every waking moment, I had no idea how the mess appeared.  He promised to follow up with the guy and take care of things.

Last Thursday is when the proverbial shit hit the fan.  I woke up around 6:15am and went about my morning routine.  As I was exiting my bathroom, I heard my intercom buzz.  Who could be trying to get in my apartment at the butt-crack of dawn?  Since the speaker in the intercom has never really worked, I did what I usually do and opened my living room window so I could see who was outside.  That’s when I saw some man I’d never seen before, looking desperately at our building.  He apologized for waking me up but said that his brother lived upstairs and he had just flown in from out of town and come straight from the airport because he was so worried about him.  Uh-oh.  He must’ve hit every buzzer in our building because after I let him in I heard him downstairs talking to the woman and her manfriend below me.  Putting on proper attire (it was 6:25am at this point), I walked downstairs to see what was going on in my ‘hood.

Apparently, the brother had been receiving strange voicemails from our neighbor and became concerned.  I

Going up the stairs to my place

don’t know if the landlord reached out to him too but when I arrived downstairs he and the lady neighbor were discussing the powder in the hallway.  He said that his brother was “sick” – I’ve dealt with enough people who were sick with drugs and sick with mental issues to know that the exact diagnosis wasn’t as important as him getting help.  He asked if I had noticed anything different and I mentioned that over the last few weeks I had heard him moving around almost constantly and at all hours of the night – and I know you’re thinking this all screams cocaine addiction but the dude seriously weighs over 300lbs and I just don’t see how those two things could go hand in hand.  I’m not trying to be funny or catty, just logical.  He said that he was here to take care of everything and thanked us for letting him in and listening.

Anyway, I told the guy that his brother was awake at that very moment because I heard him when I got out of bed.  He gave his contact info to the other neighbor (with me moving out so soon he figured it wouldn’t help much for me to have it too) and went upstairs, presumably to confront his brother.  I went back to my own apartment to try to focus so I could get ready for work.  I could hear them upstairs talking but not much else and after a few minutes I heard someone walk back down the stairs.  Of course I looked out my peep-hole to see what was going on and saw the brother (not the neighbor) talking on his cell phone.  He walked away from the building and I went on to work – confused, curious and concerned.

So that was last Thursday, just over a week ago.  And I haven’t heard my upstairs neighbor since.

Weird, right?  I’m still not sure what to think.  When I became aware of the silence from above my morbid mind immediately went to some very bad places but I have to believe that when  someone flies in to provide some help, they’ll follow through.  I honestly think (hope) that the out-of-towner put his brother in some sort of treatment and that he’s now receiving the assistance he needs.  I thought of contacting my landlord or the woman below me but I don’t really think I should get involved, though I’m honestly still nosy and tempted.  Regardless, I’m keeping my ears open for my neighbor’s return and I really do hope he’s getting better.  I also feel like an ass for all of the fun I’ve poked at the poor guy.  Granted, I had/have no real idea of what he was/is going on but I still feel like a bit of a jerk.  Not enough to keep me from updating everything on this blog, obviously, but it was such a strange story I couldn’t keep it to myself.

So thanks for listening reading and feel free to join me in sending some strong and positive thoughts in the direction of the big guy upstairs.

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