The ladies next door

Photo from http://www.davidwygant.com

It may seem as if I obsess over my neighbors. Sure, I’ve dedicated two three-part series to my former neighbors (see The guy downstairs and Across from the guy downstairs). But that was when I lived in Doral and was at home all day. I had no other source of inspiration, but the suspicious, luxury sedan driving Neanderthal and the woman with four kids and as many hundred pounds that led me to file a complaint with the department of children and families.

Since then I’ve moved and moved on. I live above the hustle and bustle of Main Street. The smell of ribs from the Tony Roma’s goes well with the loud music blasting out of Johnny Rockets. From Friday to Sunday, the rush of people trying to make the ten o’clock movie blends with the drunkards leaving the Ale House and the teenagers on a sugar high from Cold Stone. It is so loud that I never hear my neighbors, let alone see them.

Until two days ago.

Upon our return from a trip to the grocery store, we ascended up the stairs with our environmentally friendly canvas bags. As we got closer to the door I heard an angry voice. A young man’s voice. It immediately reminded me of the way one of those Doral twin boys would stand in the middle of his backyard and scream obscenities at his baby momma through his cell phone. For a moment I thought they had found me. Or worse, they had moved in.

As I walked closer, I noticed the eyeball of a neighbor peering from behind her window blinds. The eye moved ferociously to find something, but all she caught was my post-traumatic-stress-of-having-bad-neighbors-syndrome-face on the other side. I shrugged my shoulders at the eyeball, as if to say that I had no idea where it was coming from.

I turned a corner to find another neighbor poking his head out from his front door. Literally, it was just his head. No feet, no hands, no torso. I imagined it was because he was either naked or wearing a tacky house coat – which are the same reasons I sometimes choose to guillotine my neck between the door and the frame.

Before I could ask the head what the hell was going on, my peripheral caught the owner of the voice. Baseball hat to the side, some sort of shirt promoting a sports team, large shorts and tube socks that almost met on his legs and sneakers, and a cell phone up to his still pimply face. The kid’s rant was directed toward the apartment next to mine where a young woman and her grandmother reside.

“Open the door. Look at me. Let’s talk. This is fucked up. People are staring.”

We ran into our apartment and locked the door.

He continued to beg and plead, while yelling, to get into the apartment of the ladies next door. He banged on the door. He banged on the window. And then he said, “I’m not fucking leaving, ever.”

And then I heard a door close. Seconds later, I heard another open and quickly close. Followed by hurried footsteps. And then voices asking the young man a series of polite, yet stern questions. It was the eyeball and the head. So, I opened my door. A police officer was making his way down the hall. I waited to see if there was a camera crew behind him before deciding whether or not to put on a little lipstick.

Regardless, I wouldn’t have needed the lipstick. I didn’t have a speaking role in this show. I played the part of the bystander, arms crossed, eye-brow raised woman standing behind the police officer.

“I’m sorry son. You can’t be here. You have to go now.”

The guy left. Quietly. Heart-broken.

The officer told us that if he came back to just run downstairs and flag him down, as he was going to be patrolling the Victoria’s Secret. The eyeball, the head and I exchanged smiles and returned to our apartments.

The young man never returned. And all is well again in Hialeah’s Disney World.

How anti-climactic. This isn’t the neighbor raucous I’m accustomed to.

Instead, I’m going to pretend the guy, while courting his age-equivalent girlfriend, inadvertently fell in love with the grandmother. The girlfriend grew suspicious of them when her grandmother kept stealing her thongs and the boyfriend insisted she wear a house coat. Rotten with guilt and injuries to her prosthetic hip, the grandmother came clean with her grand-daughter. The young woman had no choice but to break up with her boyfriend over the phone and proceed to tweet about it. She is working on repairing the relationship with her grandmother, although she has searched the term chloroform 300 times over the past 24 hours.

Across from the guy downstairs: Scream 3

“(1)Do you know of any hospitals around here? In Doral? (2)I’ve called all the Hospitals in Hialeah and he’s not in any of them. (3)My son was hit by a car in Hialeah. You know my son? The one with all the tattoos? (4)He was walking home from his uncle’s house. Do you know where the KFC is? He was hit there. (5)His cousin called me to tell me. (6)You know I don’t drive. (7)I took his phone away because he was skipping school and now I can’t call him.”

I thought about many things while the tuba lady played her sad song to my partner, who was fittingly standing on a balcony during the loud serenade. I thought about yelling again. I thought about walking out there. I thought about how I would handle it if Iris would try to convince me to help this woman. But none of that would be necessary. Apparently, Iris couldn’t run back in the house fast enough. I believe her response was, “Oh. Wow. No, there are no hospitals here. Good luck with that.” And by the time she actually said, “Good luck with that,” she was already inside the apartment, locking the sliding glass door behind her.

I was really glad to see her give me the, what-the-hell-just-happened look.

What happened was, quite simply, that she was almost a victim of this woman’s bullshit. It was all a blatant lie. Probably in the hopes to get a ride somewhere. If you don’t want to believe that, well, then the son had his cousin lie to his mother so he could disappear for a few days and impregnate some more underage girls. But, someone was lying because the story was a complete fabrication and here’s why:

1. There are no hospitals in Doral. Baptist Hospital has an urgent care center and so does Miami Children’s. Urgent care centers do not accept ambulances, especially if they are transporting trauma patients. But why should she know where the local hospitals are? She’s just a mom and a caregiver for a special needs child.

2. There are two hospitals in Hialeah with somewhat decent emergency rooms. So, she called all two hospitals in Hialeah, but not the number one trauma hospital internationally known as Jackson Memorial Hospital. I mean, it’s just her son.

3. The next morning I checked the newspaper. I checked online. I checked everywhere. There was no such accident reported in Hialeah. And yes, we know your son. He’s the reason we don’t open our front door after 11:00 at night.

4. By car, it takes about 12 minutes, using the Palmetto Expressway, to get to that KFC. On foot it must take at least two hours.  Can’t his uncle drop him off? Can’t he take the bus?

5. If his cousin was bright enough to call about the catastrophic accident, couldn’t that same cousin find out what hospital he was going to? Also, wouldn’t the cousin also inform his own father, who happens to be the victim’s uncle and your brother of the occurence? Can’t you call your brother? Your son was just at his house.

6. Ding, ding, ding!

7. Well, if he’s unconscious, it doesn’t matter. I can only imagine that if he was conscious he would’ve asked to borrow someone’s phone to call you. If he wanted to. But, I’m thinking he doesn’t want to talk to you – just like we don’t.

The next morning I received a phone call from the neighbor across from me. You know the one that didn’t open the door. He, of course, heard everything and was calling to make sure we knew that the story she told was total crap. I told him not to worry. He told me that he’s had it with those people. That he can’t take the screaming  anymore. So, he’s decided to get out, even if it costs him to foreclose, but he has to move his family out of there.

Those poor people are right on top of the screaming. All day and all night. If I can hear it my apartment, they must hear it in high definition.

All this made me think that the guy downstairs must really regret having his “investment” property across from the Scream family. Ah, see, there is justice.

This concludes the three-part series on the neighbors that live across the guy downstairs. Now, don’t you wish you lived here?

Across from the guy downstairs: Scream

Remember the three-part series I did about the guy that lives downstairs? Well, this is the three-part series on the family that lives across from that guy.*

Across from the guy downstairs lives a single mother with a special needs toddler. To no fault of the child, the toddler screams all day. All day.Long sustained screams.

The single mother also screams. All day. She screams at her twin 17-year old boys for not going to school, for not having jobs, for getting a girl pregnant, for leaving the fence open, for coming home, for not coming home, for things that I can’t understand…you get the picture.

The two boys are biologically the same age, but physically look like one is older than the other. The older looking twin is as thin as a rail. He only wears wife-beater tank tops, I suppose to show off his arms. Not that they are muscular. I believe Michelle Obama has pythons compared to his itty bitty arms. He doesn’t wear a shirt to show off all his jail house tattoos**. This boy is already a father and regularly calls his Baby Momma. I know this because he only calls her when he’s standing outside in the middle of his backyard. I believe he does this so he could scream at her at the top of his lungs, without interrupting the screaming that is already happening inside.

The first time I came face to face with this twin, I was walking toward my car and he was just coming toward the building. I did a quick full body scan and looked him square in the eyes. He quickly turned his face to spit on the ground and kept walking past me.

Gross.

Scary.

But, hey, it’s buy one gross and scary and get the second gross and scary free. Luckily, his twin is gross and scary in the circus kind of way.

The other twin boy is smaller that his brother. He looks 14 in age. And although he is always fully dressed, his clothes are insanely big on him. I understand the fashion, but this is literally pants-on-the-ground. He actually cinches his pants under his butt, around his thighs. The seam that marks where t-shirts fall on a man’s shoulder really hang below his elbows. It’s as if he’s a regular sized man in Shaq’s clothes.

His voice is still changing. I know because he…no he doesn’t scream…he sings, well, no, he raps all day. He raps loudly. He likes to rap under the staircase that leads to my apartment. I imagine because of the echo. So, his middle-of-puberty voice that sounds like a loose snare drum is amplified throughout the hallway, throughout my home.

All this happens downstairs. All day, everyday.

Until last night. When downstairs came upstairs.

I’ll tell you all about it in my next entry, “Across from the guy downstairs: Scream 2”

*Note: Although it is not necessary to read “The guy downstairs” series from back in January to understand this new series, you may find the background information helpful.

**You know, jail house tattoos: a spiderweb, a skull and crossbones, a couple of names, all scattered throughout, where ever there is space.