I planned to write a post last night but got distracted by a hallway chat with my next door neighbour. We can spend hours talking about our cats, other neighbours, music, clothes, diets, boyfriends and hair. You know. Typical girlie stuff.
My next door neighbour (NDN) and I are the two old time tenants in the house with the suite downstairs having had five sets of occupants over the last eight years and the suite upstairs having seven tenants in the same time frame. NDN has lived here for about 8 years and I have been here for six. When I first moved in everybody was very friendly with each other but over time and tenants that has changed to where we barely talked or knew each other for long periods of time. Right now we all are on pretty friendly terms but my NDN and I are still occasionally shocked by some of the behavior we see from our present neighbours. The guy downstairs is only twenty one years old and pretty flush with cash. He and his friends are big drinkers and party a fair amount. So far the cops have been called to his place three times for rowdy behavior. Once by me and twice by other people in the neighbourhood. Not cool. He used to live upstairs last year for a brief time and had a puppy. This poor dog would howl at all hours because Owner Boy worked 12 hour shifts and never took him out. It was a disaster. Eventually he got rid of the dog, moved out for about 6 months and then moved back in downstairs. The guy is nice enough and means well but just does weird things.
The house we all live in is an old wooden 100 year old Victorian. I would say our chief safety concern in the house is fire. This place would go up in flames in mere seconds. NDN and I are very paranoid about this and I think we are right to be. When Owner Boy lived upstairs with his puppy during the cold months he would constantly leave for his 12 hour shift leaving the gas oven lit and the oven door open to keep his puppy warm. I can’t tell you how many times NDN and I would meet in the hall with both of us smelling gas and have to break into his apartment to turn off his leaking oven which had blown out. No matter how many times we would tell him not to do it and that the damned dog had fur and would be just fine on his own he would leave the next day with that oven going. So NDN and I would break into his apartment everyday and turn off the oven as soon as we heard him leave. He never said anything about this and neither did we. Eventually it got warmer and we didn’t have to do it any more. Fortunately for us the downstairs suite has an electric oven, better heat and no puppy.
So the guy who lives upstairs now is a real enigma. He is in his late 30’s or early 40’s and is very nice and friendly. To talk to him he is absolutely delightful. However several times a month NDN and I are woken up by him coming home staggering drunk in the wee hours. I am then woken early in the morning with the lovely sounds of him puking his guts out before he leaves at 5:30 am for his job. We are also very aware of which of the alternating weekends his two t’ween aged kids come for their daddy visitation because the whole house rocks with them running around like savages. They rarely leave to do anything so the poor kids are bored out of their mind in that tiny dreary apartment. Because of the apartment layout upstairs I get to hear him yelling at those kids for two whole days. It really bums me out. Yet when he talks about them he is so obviously the proud daddy.
This guy also admitted to me that we probably got mice because he had left several bags of garbage in his apartment for “a while.” Fabulous. Why would anybody do this?
This morning I was woken at about 5:15 am with the sound of this guy running across his apartment. Just as I was wondering what was happening the smoke detector in the hall went off. I quickly got out of bed and started getting dressed when I heard NDN and Owner Boy in the hallway trying to figure out what was going on. Then I heard the guy upstairs apologize about the noise and he said something about his heater and then the alarm stopped at that point. So I went back to bed. It has been cold the last few days so I assumed that he lit his gas heater (it is an attic apartment so no actual heating vents go up there hence they have a fixed gas heater for the suite) and some hot dust triggered the smoke detector. Later this morning NDN called and gave me the whole story. The guy had put his clothes on the gas heater “just for a few seconds” to warm them up and forgot about them causing them to scorch. Holy fuck! How stupid and dangerous is that? Why would anybody do something so risky?
What would you do? Don’t suggest moving as my rent is affordable and I can’t leave. Would you verbally give him shit? Would you write him a nasty (but carefully worded) note of displeasure? Would you tell on him to the landlords?
I am freaking a little here. It could have been a total disaster. My biggest fear is that the house will burn down when I am not home and Yoshi would perish. If that happened I would hunt down and kill with my bare hands whoever was responsible. I am not kidding. I would kill them.