Saturday, June 15, 2013

"I am out of meth and need to buy some from your downstairs neighbor."

Psst....I think we have drug dealers living below us. Can I say that? Will I get shot?

The apartment below us has always been a magnet for odd characters. When we first moved in there were some pretty normalish 20somethingish boys living there. We only saw this one dude that was staying with them. I spent a few nights smoking on the porch with him. He was a real talker-- which is always good for me. I enjoy observing people, especially talkers who are basically giving themselves psychotherapy- working out issues. One evening, I came out for a cigarette and must have fallen asleep on the porch. I woke up with him quietly awaking me- "Jeremy, time for bed."

He was staying with them for awhile until he could find a job and move out on his own. I did give him some job hints- staffing agencies that I have worked for. He would take the number but I knew that there was not a chance in hell that he was going to call. He ended up working for a cell phone store. He was one of those guys who work in cell phone stores. A strange breed. Jittery young men REALLY trying to sell and do a good job. With their shirts partially untucked- wearing sneakers. Former Little Ceasers guys really wanting to turn a new leaf and become men. Get their lives together.

Then there were some dude with a kid. I think he was middle eastern. The story we cobbled together was that he was recently divorced. His daughter was dropped off on the weekends. With her Dora the Explorer luggage on wheels. I wasn't sure if he was selling drugs or just doing them. But I got that vibe from him. I don't think he was working. Drug fueled weeks of laying around in a garden apartment falling into a pit of filth and drugs and then spending the weekend with an adorable daughter. Could be worse I guess.

Then some bitchy bitchy lady moved in downstairs. I don't think she was up to anything. But she was always on her cell phone when she exploded out of the apartment door. Really ripping into someone. Lots of anger and disagreement and yelling into her cell phone. Never said hello to me. One time I think she said "Jesus Christ" directed at me. Maybe a cigarette butt had fallen through the slats from my porch to her cement back door entrance. But I TOTALLY got her. Understood the frustration and ridiculousness of it all.

The new person that moved in is clearly selling drugs. The door buzzed a few weeks ago and I answered it- staticy garbled girl freaking out on the other end of the intercom. I did not let her in. Locked in the vestibule, the glass lobby door separating us.

"I'm supposed to see an apartment," she yelled through the door, twitching and very nervous. I translated this as, "I am out of meth and need to buy some from your downstairs neighbor." She must have found the right apartment. Later I was on the porch and she and alleged drug dealer came out. The drug dealer informed her, "This neighborhood is very quiet- you need to come to the back door."

Since then, there have been random nervous people waiting outside the back door as I smoke my cigarettes and judge. Seeing me, they walk away and pretend to just be enjoying the sights of our filthy alley. Just taking a Sunday stroll by the dumpsters. Cars pulling up, leaving quickly.

My prediction is that this won't last long. The garden apartment people seem to come and go.

My thoughts are- whatever gets you through the night. Like the lady screaming into her cellphone- life can be real hard. Hopefully the drug dealers and drug takers are finding some peace and relief in their pursuits. Whatever the sacrifice. I wish them well on their journeys and hope they can get to a good place.

I just don't want to be shot.

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