In the mornings when I walked out of my door I was often greeted by one of my neighbors. It wasn’t the normal greeting of two people going to work, nope, it was me fully dressed and ready to start my day and my neighbor laying half in his house and half out half-dressed and puffing on a Marlboro. Bloodshot eyes and pale skin lingered in my memory the way the stale odor of the cigarettes lingered in the portico.
Some mornings I wasn’t greeted by my neighbor, but by my neighbors trash which always seemed to be oozing some yellowish murky substance that reminded me of egg yolks mixed with beer.
Marie Calendar’s macaroni and cheese, Stouffers lasagna, and Marlboro Red’s in a box seemed to be the mainstay’s of my neighbors diet.
I could always tell when my neighbor had recently opened the door of his apartment because it smelled old and used and I couldn’t imagine anyone actually living in that stench.
Then I got new neighbors.
The apartment complex came in and re-carpeted the apartment as well as gave it a fresh coat of paint and an overall sanitizing. I noticed the new neighbors moving some stuff in and one of the girls was very cute and Asian. I was hopeful and excited. After looking at a cracked-out pasty white man for a year, Mimi from the Drew Carey show would have looked hot.
Unfortunately, the Asian girl was apparently just a friend. My new neighbor was pregnant and about 25. I think her mother lives with her. Everyday I come home and the poritco is clean and it smells of the most wonderful lavender fabric softener. In the mornings the air is redolent with the smell of breakfast cooking – just this morning it was fresh blueberry muffins.
I almost never see my neighbors, I never hear them, I never see them fighting or arguing or slamming doors. They are practically non-existent and I love them.
I didn’t realize how much stress my old neighbors caused me, but now that I have good ones I appreciate them even more.