When our neighbor moved in, I admit that I entertained a little thought that we might become friendly. Not besties – I know I don’t need a bestie living next door – but I thought maybe we would be friendly enough to chat outside, or she might even ask us to water her plants. I don’t know.
She wasn’t very friendly though, and still isn’t. She’s been kind of forced to talk to us because we’ve run into her while she’s walking her corgi a couple times, and the dog has been very curious about us. But instead of taking that opportunity to have a conversation, she’s just acted all uninterested and pulled the dog away.
She recently has lost a lot of weight, and started dressing much nicer. Before it was a lot of long flowy skirts with long flowy tops. Now it’s all fitted vests, although I still don’t think I’ve seen her wear pants. I guess she could just be exercising and dieting, but I’m pretty sure this is the result of gastric bypass surgery.
She has a very specific car, and naturally I notice when it’s not in her spot, or in the prime spots right in front of our building. She’s frequently gone for long weekends. I once wrote a 6-page story about her loading her dog and her JC Penney luggage into her Sebring and driving down to Santa Barbara to visit her mom. In my story, she and the dog stopped for sandwiches, and they got one roast beef and one egg salad, and shared. I think Drew was a little weirded out by the detail in my story, and how I started referring to her sick mom in Southern California in everyday conversation, like it was truth.
Other good hints that she’s gone for a long weekend:
- the conspicuous absence of the furiously barking dog behind her door, whenever I walk up to my door
- the take out menus multiplying on the door knob
- sometimes packages pile up on her door mat as well
Sometimes I think that all these Chinese food menus are just a big neon sign telling strangers, “I haven’t been home for days. Feel free to come in and take anything you want.” Sometimes I take the menus off her door (they’re all repeats anyway) because I think that might discourage prowlers who are scoping out the neighborhood. Then she walks right past me in the parking lot and doesn’t meet my eyes. Oh well.
At least when she’s gone I don’t have to worry about that annoying dog barking at me going into MY OWN APARTMENT. Which I have lived in longer than you have lived in yours, RILEY.