Finals Week

I just got the opportunity to meet with three new neighbors. Now, before we dive too deep into this, we need some exposition. House or apartment? New or old place? How old? Previous encounters with them? The answers are as follows. Apartment. Kinda old. From Halloween till the semesters end, which is how I measure significant time. Listening to the noises they make mostly. And wondering why one kept an actual tree limb (note the distinction, this was no simple twig, no, but a very literal, very barky, 8-foot tree limb) outside his apartment. I have been a bad neighbor, but it’s the only kind I know. I prefer my own heap of insane voices whispering ideas to me than attempting to understand what other people want or mean. This is not because I fear it, or don’t think I can understand these neighbors (simple people, at the least) but because I fear I will know it all too well. Part of me wants to credit that to my superior intelligence, which I truly compare to David Foster Wallace[1], Dan Harmon, Walt Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen Colbert (among a long list of others)[2]. The other part knows this is because I must support the vanity or else I will truly understand how big of a failure I have been, I will understand that I came from these Midwestern people, and I will never escape them. I will never be more than my predetermined destiny decided. My biggest fear is that I can’t escape my own family, create my own destiny. I don’t want them to get the credit for what I have done, and I don’t want them to ruin my chances at that credit simply by creating me.

I’ve slowly begun talking to one over the past few weeks, who my only interaction with prior had been saying hello as he smoked a cigarette and I walked away from the strange plywood box some 30 people called home. It all begins with a mentally and physically handicapped person, whom is actually a arsonist (allegedly) calling the cops on this human (my next door neighbor, on the right hand side when leaving my personal plywood box) frequently because he can hear my next door neighbor walking. Yes folks, walking inside your own home can be a good enough justification to have the cops called on you. I don’t want to get into this too far, but the one side of the story I know I have no reason to not believe, as the other side actually inspires the amount of fear in every human being who see’s him that a arsonist should. And the one side of the story I know regarding his claim to arsonist is based around his dislike of a previous apartment neighbor whom he could hear when he didn’t want to, hence the decision to burn the apartment. Had he been just a normal arsonist, the kind that goes out of their way to burn pointless shit, then fine. No this human has made my own personal shit feel threatened, and guess what, there’s nothing I love more than my stuff. I truly mean it. I feel more pride over my ability to constantly require new bookshelves because I buy too many books than pride for my ability to fall in love, my ability to feel empathy, my ability to present myself as the man who I think I am. So, with my physical reminder that I exist under threat, my fortress of desired solitude, I have turned to community. This first neighbor is a buffalo of a man. Just a big, hulking, Tennessean, who I can’t help but like instantly after talking to him first. He’s too many parts my brother, my uncles, my friends, Even I have to break my cold-hearted demeanor just to enjoy a conversation, just that, purely a conversation. His laugh sounds like a deeper version of duck blind sounds. We’ve come to talk everyday this past week. It’s nice having an acquaintance.

I’ll get to those other two neighbors I met (along with the a fourth surprise guest) soon I promise. My self comparison to DFW is because he often says what I’m thinking, at strangely appropriate times in my life, not because I want to copy his verbose unnecessary style.

Number one neighbor. He lives above me. I have seen him before, but today was my first conversation with him. Topics of said conversation included: what strange banging sounds where coming from his place at all hours of the day, reasons being he gets angry and stomps (acceptable) he falls off the couch while drunk (totally acceptable) he drops his kettle bell (at four in the morning, not so acceptable) or he is dancing (the best possible reason). In my head, before meeting him, with just the visual image of this bearded, curly-headed fuck (term of endearment) in a leotard, prancing about like Kevin Bacon in Footloose, was more than I could stand. Funny how the brain tricks the body into accepting the absurd. As well we discussed jerking off at the same time, cocaine, who lived where, and how to set up the perfect parking lot kiddie pool for mid-summer lounging. Informative doesn’t begin to cover the conversation.

Number two neighbor is prefaced with surprise guest, unbelievably Dorian Gray-ish next door neighbor (to the left). I do not know if this human being is 12 or 20, I’ve seen him returning from both high school and collegiate events. What I do know is he lives with either his mother or girlfriend, has a baby brother or baby, and enjoys pounding on my bedroom wall anytime I do anything regarding sound that would register on some sort of sound-o-meter. After meeting neighbor one, I took a brief walk to visit another plywood-box humanoid I know, for a small chit-chat. On this walk both to and from this acquaintances house, I witnessed surprise guest peeking out the window, with a look of pure glee on his face, sending text messages every fifteen or twenty seconds. After each text he would duck back, not out of sight, but just behind the window curtain. I have seen many people lose there minds, and this has been the strangest manifestation I have ever encountered. This was in fact crazier than neighbor number two, who was the person who owns the massive porch stick. My first wild sighting of this human was about a week ago, when, walking home from school, I passed first two families, about five pre-pubescent girls, a mother and two dads out for a walk, then this lovely neighbor, who took approximately five steps before falling over in what I can only admit to being a truly graceful drunk stupor, doing three pushups, and continuing on. He’s apparently a vicious drunk who is incapable of making sense. I enjoyed our brief time together. My meeting with him tonight went, as best I can transcribe it, like this: Him: Every time you drink, I drink. Me: What? Him: Drink. Me: Yea, its vodka… Him: are you aware of the truth, brother? Me: I like to think so. (next door neighbor right and neighbor one laughing hysterically) Next door Neighbor: He doesn’t know he can’t win. Me: I’m not playing to win. What was that about drinking? Him: Everytime I drink, you drink. (takes drink) Me: So I should drink now? Him: Do you live in the truth brother? Do. You. Live. In. The Truth? The truth is all around us, all we have, the truth is HOME. Where is your Home? I know where my home is. Me: My home is right behind me, where is your home? Him:… Me: Where is your home? Him: you aren’t allowed to ask that. Me: you asked me that? Haha Him: You aren’t asking the right question. Me: Ok, ok, may I try to ask the correct question? Him: … Me: You wanted to know if I lived in the truth, so I return that question. Him: … Me: Do you live in the truth? Him: …. Me: …. Him: Truth. (waves hands in am impatient manner) Me: do you live in the truth? Followed by where is your home? I know where my home is. Him: Truth.

[1] Question: What would David Foster Wallace write about Twitters 140 character restriction?

[2] Answer: WELL (I can’t fucking format this stupid fucking thing right, but after “WELL” would come the third footnote of this book, which would have read “what the fuck twitter doesn’t have footnote capability OR any rant potential? Followed by him quickly giving up on Twitter all together.” It’s a bad joke, ok? You don’t get people crafting intentionally bad jokes for you every fucking day do you? if you do, you are living in a novel, and must escape now, this is the only way to drive your story to the ultimate conclusion, your wife is an alien here to collect sperm from random humanoids to help in their slow but meticulous invasion of your planet. You will at least die in the last few pages of your story (I don’t care that it’s your “life” for everyone else it’s a story) knowing you knew you where in a story, you didn’t stop the aliens, therefor you are a total boob)

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