Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Apartment Living

My friend Eddo is discussing neighbors in his blog, and I started to comment, then realized that I had too much to post in a comments section. So, let me share it with you:

Many years ago, I had no money whatsoever and lived paycheck to paycheck. I ended up having to take a small one bedroom apartment in a relatively decent neighborhood, but the actual apartment complex was ... questionable. Although there were some decent people that were as poor as I was, there were also a couple low-end dealers, a junkie, a couple alcoholics, and a hooker. Since there were only 16 apartments total, and I don’t do drugs or sell my body, I was in the minority.

The hooker lived two doors down from me. Although she had a 2 year old daughter, she had her evenings when her male visitors came by and she just kept her daughter in the back room. She created her own little ‘red light district’ by screwing in a red lightbulb into the light socket over her door when she was accepting 'visitors'. I did always wonder why she couldn't seem to make up her mind about the color of her outside light. Being a naive innocent, I didn't catch on to that until another neighbor clued me in.

The woman who lived above me was an alcoholic with a boyfriend who was a junkie. He shot up every night, she got drunk, and they had riotous fights. When she was sober, she was pretty nice, though. For a highly dysfunctional person, that is. They broke up and reunited so many times that I could never keep it straight. One day she frantically started banging on my front door. I ran to the door and she thrust a purse into my hands. “Here,” she said, “take this, quick! You can look inside if you like, keep it or throw it away, I don’t care. Just don’t let my boyfriend know I have it and get rid of the purse too.”

Bemused, I took the purse from her. Going back inside, I opened it up to see a sex toy that looked exactly like a cactus, but the spikes didn’t look to be as painfully sharp. I chucked the whole thing the first chance I got. She explained later that he didn’t approve of sex toys and since they had just got back together that day, she didn’t want anything that might mess up her chances with him that night. Gee, thanks for giving me the privilege of disposing of your used vibrators.

Still another time I was taking out the garbage and a shirtless guy walked by me. On his back, in huge letters, tattooed between his shoulder blades, was the name “Seymour.”

“Hey Seymour!” I said cheerfully.

“Whoa,” gasped Seymour, looking nervous. “How did you know my name???”

“I, um, read it on your back…” I said slowly.

“Oh, dude!” he said, “I forgot I had that tattooed there!” I kid you not. And yes, his name was really Seymour. I usually change the names to protect the not-so-innocent but what really struck me in all this was:

1. If your name is Seymour, why would you tattoo it ANYwhere? And…
2. That is a mighty long name to tattoo in 2” high ugly gothic-style letters across your back.

I didn’t live among mental giants at that time, but I certainly collected many stories from there; and that made much of it worthwhile. When we were gathered around the watercooler at work, I had better stories than anyone else. It made me quite popular!

C. 2005


mal said...

!#$!@ rocket scientists.....I used to have "johns" banging on my door because they confused "21A" with "21B" a lot.(A,B,C buildings) They usually took one look at me, realized I could hurt them (and looked like I wanted to) then split *L* except the guys who wanted to be "hurt"....sheeeesh

Eddo said...

My name is in this post! Yeah!

And great stories too, and um... I have my name Tattooed on my back, doesn't everyone?

OldHorsetailSnake said...

"Hey, lady, you must be 'doing it'."

"How can you tell?"

"Well, you've got this red letter A carved..."

dddragon said...

lol - that's a great one! keep 'em coming!!

michelle said...

The fun, the memories.

Got your message, left you one too.

AP3 said...

Yikes. I actually lived in one really sketchy neighborhood of Boston once upon a time. I could tell some stories too...

R2K said...

Thats sounds like a crazy place to live! :)

And I love the seymore story the most, its just so strange. :)


Fred said...

When I fisrt moved to Miami, I rented a one-bedroom apartment for $250/month. (1980, mind you...) I soon found out why the price was so cheap,even back then. It was not a nice place to live. I broke the lease six months later and moved (fled, actually) to Ft. Lauderdale.

Hale McKay said...

Quite interesting digs you were living in then. Sounds like the intro to the old TV anthology show, "The Naked City" ... there are _____ stories in the Naked City. (I forgot the number they used.)

Senor Caiman said...

I've noticed that most all hookers live in apartment complexes. I smell something fishy going on here.

Jamie Dawn said...

No mental giants, for sure!
My goodness, what a motley crew.
Don't you ever have an urge to rush out and have "Saurkrout" tatooed somewhere?
Nah, I didn't think so.

Jeff said...

Mr. Gator,
Buying is house is hard if you don't know that. It takes alot of work. You can't just lie there and expect it to happen for you.

And really, My dear Saur,
Do you really think that comments can be too long? Does this mean I have to move on for taking up too much space on occasion? I would find myself heart broken. It's bad enough I am a loser in real life, but to even be booted from an internet community for having too much to share, now that would be life-ending pathetic.

I so wish I were a mental giant. Fortunately I'm comfortable with being stupid by now.

Until later...