Saturday, September 3, 2011

The haunted condo

I'm beginning to think that our neighbor's condo is haunted by an evil spirit.

For the past 45 minutes, my neighbors have been slamming doors (louder than usual, and even in the bathrooms and the closets) and screaming at each other. "Fuck this" and "I don't CARE" and then there was some crying.

Perhaps this wouldn't be so weird if they weren't the fourth couple living there since we moved in four years ago.

First, there was the Unit Owner. He lived here the first year. A few weeks after he introduced us to his girlfriend/fiancee/wife (depends on what day you asked him), he moved in with her in another unit and we haven't seen him since.

Loud TV Guy stayed in the unit for about a month. He wasn't living there full-time, so he doesn't really count. But he was painting or helping out with something and slept on a mattress on the floor. The sound from his television would bounce off the empty walls into all hours of the night, and a few times I think I even banged on our wall with a broom to get him to turn it down.

Woman With 3-year-old and Dog moved in after that. They seemed really nice - the girl was sweet and quiet and the dog was adorable. They must have lived here around the time of my abdominal surgery, because I remember during my first walk outside that the little girl looked at me, pointed and said "mom, why is she walking so funny?"

The trouble started when the husband came up here from North Carolina and couldn't find a job. Maybe he got laid off, maybe he got fired, we're not sure. From the noise he made when running up and down the stairs, he must have been at least 250 pounds. And boy, would he go up and down those stairs.

Turns out, that was the least of our concerns. He had a real bad temper as well. We heard a couple of nasty verbal arguments, but they always ended before we had a chance to really worry it would be taken to the next level and feel the need to call the police. Then there was The Big Fight. Banging, stomping, crashing. Door slamming. Angry man leaving. Quiet. Woman on phone crying.

We're not sure he ever came back. Bills started piling up. Termination notices came in the mail (we frequently get mail that's supposed to be for our neighbors and have to hand deliver it). Next thing we know, Woman With 3-year-old and Dog move out.

Mom With Teenage Son came next. We think there were actually two sons, and one of them might have lived in a basement room without windows. But we only saw them - or smelled them - when they stood out on our patio smoking cigarette after cigarette after cigarette. The smoke seeped in through cracks around the doors, and watching TV in our own living room became unbearable.

Doors would still slam, but there was no screaming, at least not that I can recall. I'm pretty sure the mom said she was divorced. She had many decorations and garden tools with her when she moved in, indicating she had downsized from a large house.

A few months later, I caught them packing boxes into a moving van. "My son got kicked out of school," Mom With Teenage Son said. "There's no reason for us to stay here now."

Couple With Tiny Cars moved in next. They've probably been living here eight or night months now. Doors have always slammed, but nothing like tonight.

And the eavesdropping was inevitable, as they took their fight outside on the patio and it's finally a cool enough night to have the windows open. After one of them left and then came back, it is finally silent again.

We'll see which one of them - or both, perhaps - is moving out tomorrow.

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