I live in a community. Not a real one. The kind that forces you to pay a fee to join the association. Like a sorority. Only no one pretends to be your friend. But it’s just the same in every other way. The most popular members take votes and decide things and make the rest of the group carry out their wishes. There is an interview process, where they decide whether or not to let you in and, when you want to leave, they will make it very uncomfortable.
Owners and renters that pay their fees on time are rewarded with increases to help cover the share of the large quantity of empty apartments that have been abandoned, foreclosed and bank owned. The walls are so thin that I hear when the special needs girl from downstairs goes into her fits of rage. I hear when the family of six sits down for dinner. I know because they say grace and always include a prayer for the special needs girl from downstairs. The elderly couple are the quietest neighbors and it’s not because of their distance, it’s because they each work two jobs. The guy downstairs is pretty quiet too, but he’s in the business of keeping quiet and letting his luxury car do all the talking.
What a dump this place.
It wasn’t always like this. The first association just got greedy. They tore down the central recreational facility to build a new luxury tower. Took away the tennis and basketball courts and the office and the meeting room. Flattened it. And then ran out of money. So they fenced it in and ran off with all the money in the bank. An emergency election hired a new set of freaks. Freaks because they had obviously never seen a bank account. They hired a new security team and remodeled the guard-house. They even upgraded the landscaping and the entrance, but forgot to pay the water bill. They realized it only when the water was disconnected. Disconnected. And they didn’t have money to pay the reconnection fine and the overdue bill.
Another emergency election hired a new group of Type-A overachievers and they fired everyone. They fired the trash people, the landscapers, the security guards, the maintenance staff. And then they fired themselves.
So, now we have these people. Nice people. But they lack a certain, I don’t know, something. Something like common sense. This morning’s incident is a good example.
At approximately 9:00 AM someone noticed that a “pipe busted.” That someone told someone else, who told two more people and the security guard. Someone in charge sent the maintenance people home and called the city. Someone not in charge hastily wrote up a memo and made 1,000 copies at Kinko’s. They dropped off the copies at the main security gate, you know, where visitor’s are required to drive in by, and instructed the guard to hand them out to any resident that may be coming into the community.
The thing is that 80 percent of the residents are out of the gates by 9 am. Out of that 80, I’d say 5% may come back home early, either for lunch or some bootylicious loving with a secret friend, and they are most likely to come in by the side gate. That means 20 percent are still inside, including me, three out of the six family members, the special needs toddler and her mom and half of the elderly couple that was home on break. No one knocked on our doors. No one put up a single note. The elderly woman couldn’t wash her dish where she had lunch, the grandmother couldn’t make Cuban cafesito, the guy downstairs couldn’t water his plants and I jumped in the shower and it was dry as a bone.
As the leader of my micro community, I volunteered to go find out. So I did, I walked all the way to the guard-house and asked quite simply, “WTF with the water?” I was handed a piece of paper (pictured below) and kindly asked to return home and put some clothes on.