Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

I live in a condo that is kinda like a duplex.  It's one long building with four units in a row, ours is on the end, we share one wall with our neighbor, who shares one wall with their neighbor, who shares one wall with the unit on the other end.  Tucked away in the middle, on the back of the building. is a small laundry room.  Three of the units share the laundry room (the couple on the far end of the building installed their own washer/dryer).

Our little condo community has maybe a dozen of these buildings, mostly circled around a pretty little pond with a fountain.  Across the pond from us is the clubhouse and the pool.

This is what it looks like today, a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon:

The pond has fish, turtles, ducks,
and the occasional small alligator.  
Until a few years ago this was a retirement community.  We bought our home from an elderly lady who moved into an assisted living home downtown. It's nice and quiet here, even though we are right off a busy street and spitting distance from a giant Walmart.  (Feel free to come over any time and spit at the Walmart.)  We are also close to UCF, which we are hoping will increase resale value during whichever decade our home value goes back up to anywhere near the amount we paid for it.

On the far end of our unit is a really nice, young couple who lived here together while they went to UCF, a year or two ago they graduated and got married.  Next to them is a man who is going through a divorce, he's a handyman guy good with  plumbing and stuff, very friendly.  So friendly he loaned us a "documentary" which turned out to be a DVD "proving" how Obama is the antichrist.  How long do you keep a thing like that under the pretense that you might watch it?  We had it for a month or two before he asked for it back.  It's just terrible how busy we were the whole time we had it.

Between Conspiracy Theorist and us was, seriously, the sweetest old lady ever.  Sweet Helen was always bustling around outside, growing gorgeous roses, sweeping the sidewalk, shooing away the ducks so they wouldn't poop on our back patio, then hosing off the duck poop, then putting up a little wire fence around the patio to keep the ducks out.   And though her hearing wasn't great she seemed to be doing just fine living there by herself.

Until she wasn't anymore.  She started having trouble walking, and when she got a walker we worried about her.  We'd go over sometimes to help her do stuff, and she'd bring over jars or bottles she couldn't get open, and then eventually her children moved her to an assisted living home near them in New York.

That was right before Christmas.  (I got her address and sent her a Christmas card.)  But now her condo has been sold, and apparently her kids moved out only her personal items, they sold her condo fully furnished to a man.

We have met him briefly a time or two, he appears to be maybe in his 60's, and apparently single.  He saw Sydney meet us at the door while we were chatting and he was very interested in her, telling us that he'd had a Siamese kitty who had died.  We never saw him move in, although his car is always here and he is clearly living here.  He doesn't seem to come outside much, which is certainly fine.  Sweet Helen was always outside, carrying in trash cans for people after the garbage truck left, talking to neighbors, tending to her roses.

Honestly, the one main thing I want from a neighbor with whom I share a wall is QUIET.  Be quiet!  That's all I ask for.  And so far this dude has been quiet.


View of our neighbor's pile-o-crap from our back door

This is the giant pile of crap he has outside his back door.  The boxes are so high it's basically covering his back porch windows.  It smells like it's been in a garage for decades.  This isn't a neat stack of boxes, it's a pile of junk, including mugs and technical manuals of stuff that looks like it's from the 70s and plastic hangers and clothing.  Plus, that area where he has the grill and the bicycles is where I need to walk to get to the laundry room.  

View of our neighbor's pile-o-crap from the laundry room door

I know I am kind of a writer at heart when I start making up stories about people and trying to figure out exactly what might have happened and what their motivations were.  I have decided that this guy was in a giant mound of hoarding hell, maybe due to grief over the death of a spouse, so bad that he had to give up and move out into a new, clean, furnished place.  He hired Bekins movers to come in and pack up the crap that they could, and after the moved the stuff he opened the boxes and picked through.  I am guessing (although I hope this isn't the case) that his condo is full of more boxes like these.

Here is what is scaring me:  in the midst of the crap pile is what appears to be an old litter box.  There is no rational reason to have a litter box unless you have a cat who is using it.  Keeping an old plastic box that once had poop in it is not sentimental, it's crazy.

So.  Now it's Cute College Couple, Conspiracy Theorist, Hoarding Guy and us.  Greg and I are discussing how long to wait before we start complaining to the president of the condo association.  We don't want to be assholes and we don't want Hoarding Guy to feel unwelcome, but...