Farewell to a neighbor

8 11 2008

This is not my NaBloPoMo post… I have to let this out. I’m sad.

I’ve lived in my current apartment for just over 5 years. It’s not fantastic. But it’s cheap as hell. I don’t pay for utilities, but I also don’t control the heat. I wear shorts in the winter…

There are 9 apartments in the building. Three per floor. Mine is the only one bedroom with a living/kitchen area, bathroom and bedroom. The rest are efficiencies or studios… but bizarre ones. The rest of the tenants? They share bathrooms that are in the hallway, outside of their apartment. Thank god mine was converted a while ago…

In the 5+ years, there have been 4 of us who have remained, the other 5 are revolving door tenants. I have more often than not been the only female living in the building. Most moved out because they chose to or the landlord had to force them out – drugs, stalking (me, on a small basis!), not paying rent… But the 4 of us who were here, we got along well.

One of the tenants who has been here a while was this guy who lived on my floor, Glen. Glen was always aware of what was going on in the building. He bought light bulbs to replace the communal area lights. I’d hear him sometimes in the evening when he switched on the light outside my apartment door. He also ALWAYS got the mail. The building doesn’t have individual mail boxes. It has a single mail box. And the tenants just stack up people’s mail on a table in the entry way. Or, Glen would shove the letters under my door and leave the magazines standing up against the door. I appreciated that so much.

Glen was also my partner, if you will, in getting the bad seeds removed. Right after I moved in, a guy moved in right above my bedroom. Turns out he was a drug addict. I’d hear him all.night.long. And in the late Spring/early Summer, I’d hear people call to the guy from outside up to his window… So would Glen. And Glen, during the day would see what else was going on. So we went to the landlord… And he ended up being tossed out…

Then came the wacko who lived on the same floor as Glen and I. All of a sudden, after a few months in the building, he focused in on me… left me notes taped to the door. Left some kind of military medal stuck to my door. And Glen warned him not to mess with me… Yeah, he was kicked out too. He stopped paying rent, then said my landlord was being discriminatory. No, she wasn’t. You didn’t pay your effing rent…

Anyway, a few days ago – Wednesday – I came home early. I had a friend over.  There was no mail beneath my door, so I figured I had none. My friend left, and a few hours later, a rugby friend stopped by to pick up some things. When I was running out the door to meet her, I saw new mail on the table… I said to my rugby friend that it was wierd that my mail wasn’t at my door. But no matter, sometimes that happens…

And then last night, I come home. To this tiny little paper attached to the mirror hanging above that entry-way table. “Glen died Wednesday. Service Sunday 4pm (name of local funeral home here)”

WHAT??? Are you kidding me? He died? I don’t even know if he was sick. I have no idea. I can’t even remember the last time I saw him! My first thought after digesting this info was, ok, time to move! I can’t live here without Glen keeping watch!

I have yet to decide if I’m going to look to move or not. But I’ve been in and out of the building about 4 times today and every time I reach the top of the stairs, I can’t help but look over at his door and feel a bit sad…. And since I never said it out loud…

Glen: thank you for keeping tabs on me and the building. I appreciated it. I’ll miss seeing you peek out of your door to see who’s getting in from time to time…. farewell.




2 responses

9 11 2008

i can’t believe there are still people in the world who SHARE bathrooms! i’m sorry about your friend, but i can’t get past the shared bathroom part of the post

9 11 2008

Katy, you have NO idea how STRANGE it is! Wacko!!

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