The Next Door Neighbors, A Field Study

March 17

Observations of living in a college apartment complex: After moving in, the man next door immediately disappeared behind dark curtains and never resurfaced; the couple directly across, down, and to the left do not own curtains or clothing, apparently; the woman to the right only wears polka dot terry cloth pants; the man downstairs plays techno from 9 pm until 5 am (little does he know I am planning his imminent demise); and there is one apartment which, I think, is only occupied by a small rabbit.

The man who lives on the first floor apparently only owns one song - techno/rave, single repetitive bass line. Over and over and over all night long every night. When he dies (sooner rather than later), may God force him to listen to Abba for all eternity as punishment.

At the bus stop today:

Danish man: Du smiler altid.
Me: Eh, well.
Danish man: Oh, you're not Danish, that's why. How do you like living in this malignantly narcissistic, mentally ill, near-communist country?
Me: Uhhh ... It's nice when the sun is out?
Danish man: I belong in the States. Do you like Obama?
Me: Not particularly.
Danish man: OH MAN! Can I have you over?!
Me: Oh. Um.
Danish man: I want you to read my book.

... Guess what? This guys lives in THE NEXT BUILDING OVER. Of all the gin joints.

June 9

I finally met the man next door. He came out of his apartment for the first time since February, to watch the guy tripping on the lawn (wearing his shoes on his hands and beating the air with his fists). His name is Martin; his major is cultural encounters. I find it baffling how he intends to use this degree, holed up in that one-room apartment behind blackout shades. He's missing out on a lot of bizarre cultural encounters in his own building. For example: Man two doors down who carries around the large teddy bear; man directly below whose apartment is a glorified garage for multicolored scooters; man in the next building over who is writing books about Danish narcissism. And then there's the guy with the cuckoo clock that has been going off since 7 this morning. Clearly he has a death wish.

June 15

Met Shane, the student blacksmith who lives two floors down.  Sweetheart, well-traveled, looks like Jonathan Rhys Meyers only blonde. He is the only neighbor who consistently smiles at me whenever I see him. Taught me how to operate the communal Danish oven downstairs. Brownies burned.

June 18


  1. Excellent record keeping! I love the interactions, and while the rave music every night are sure to be tiring...you have great stories to pass on to Isaac for his first apartments. ;)

    1. Thank you! I think the stories make it all worthwhile. You can't make this stuff up.


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