Monday, January 18, 2010

Good Trumpets Make Good Neighbors

My neighbor is learning to play the trumpet. And I use the word "learning" loosely. After having listened to him play for the past three days, it's quite clear that he hasn't quite learned it -- though he does play with gusto.

Living in a communal setting (as most city dwellers do), such as a condo or apartment, affords all kinds of opportunities to get to know your neighbors that you just don't get in a detached suburban house. For instance, I know that my next door neighbor (the same trumpet playing one) snores . . . a lot. WH has thus dubbed him the Grizzly Bear. On top of that, from time to time, usually on Sundays, he plays soft rock hits from the 70s and 80s and sings loudly. Journey is one of his favorites. When it gets to a particularly rockin' part of the song, GB yells, "Whooo!" repeatedly. It's incredibly entertaining. The trumpet playing is not. It sounds like someone's killing a flock of Canada geese.

But Grizzly Bear is not the worst neighbor I've ever had (actually, aside from the trumpet and thin walls, he's a really good neigbhor). In the building where I used to live, I had two neighbors that were particularly . . . interesting. Neighbor #1 was a young woman who . . . how shall I say . . . liked to get . . . frisky. A lot. Loudly. At least three times a week, I'd be awakened at 3 a.m. by noises. It was like living in the Real World House.

But neighbor #2 was probably even more startling. My apartment faced out onto a courtyard and into another building's windows. My bedroom window looked directly into the kitchen and dining room windows of a man across the way. He was a pretty nondescript 30-something white guy who appeared to live alone. Until one summer night. I was in the front of the apartment and had to go to the back and get something out of my bedroom. The windows (and thus, the blinds) were open and the lights were out. I walked into the bedroom, and before turning on the lights, I noticed Neighbor #1 in the kitchen doing dishes. Nothing out of the ordinary, until I noticed a "guest" of his in the dining room clearning the table in nothing but a black leather thong.

Thong Man visited several more times that summer, and by August I had had just about all I could take of his skinny little leather not-quite-clad butt. So, I made an offer on a condo and became neighbors with GB. So the next time I hear the trumpet, I'll say a little prayer for that dying goose, and thank my lucky stars that I don't have any leather thong-wearing neighbors . . . that I know of.

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