He’s home right now. He’s always home. You know how I know? I can hear him up there, moving around like the Son of Frankenstein fleeing torch-bearing villagers. Or Babar in a hurry. ka-BOOM ka-BOOM ka-BOOM ka-BOOM. Judging by his thundering tread, I guessed him to be the size of a piano. Not an upright, a baby grand. In the back of my mind I prepared for the ceiling to give out and him to land in my living room.
Around three o’clock every morning, this guy has a Chinese fire drill, right above my bed. ka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOM pause pause ka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOM pause ka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOMka-BOOM for a good two or three minutes. Not only is it annoying, it’s curious. What’s he doing at three a.m.? Alone? And vertical? The mystery keeps me awake.
I’ve never actually met this fellow. I had a sighting once, but I couldn’t pick him out of a line-up, not even if my life hung in the balance. All I know is he’s young, probably mid-twenties and of normal proportions. He plays video games, preferring warfare and explosions. He showers pretty regularly. He doesn’t work. He likes to vacuum. He doesn’t have a girlfriend. He doesn’t have visitors. He isn’t a partier or a drinker. He keeps the same hours as Dracula. And he has a dog, but doesn’t take it out during daylight.
Surprising what you can learn from noises, isn’t it? Probably why I don’t like living in apartments. No matter how well-constructed they are, and this place is far from that, you get to know your neighbors pretty well, whether you want to or not. I mean, I know more about this dude than some friends I have.
As neighbors go, he’s a fairly good one. He’s not nosy or intrusive or disruptive. Except for his incredibly heavy tread I wouldn’t know he’s there. And I don’t get the eerie, quiet loner vibe, either. More like he’s trying to keep a low profile to avoid a pet deposit. If he’d stop with the Chinese fire drills he’d be perfect. I think you’d like him.
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