Thursday, August 30, 2012

the chap next door

Haven't really told you about our neighbour yet.

He's like any type of neighbour one might expect to have in London, bar one or two minor details. Which I'll get to in a sec.

Like in most big cities, London is no different - you don't talk to each other, except in passing - which is a sort of "Hello how are you OK then goodbye," with a mental note in the back of your cranium wondering whether you should really make a better effort.
In case you're burgled, or you have an aneurism in the bath tub, or if we're being honest, because you need to leave a spare key with someone and/or someone to feed your guinea pigs.

Anyway, so we don't know much about our neighbours, bar the old ladies downstairs who are blatant curtain flickers (read: nosier than Pinocchio after a day full of lies), and the chap who lives next door.

When we first moved in, more than a year ago, the dude didn't raise any eyebrows. He's an elderly Indian fellow, walks with a crutch, lives on his own, minds his own business. From time to time, we engaged in brief conversation ("hello...ok bye,"). Nothing to see there, basically.

Fast forward to around five months ago, and shit started to kick off. He came home one night, and as he opened the door (using his crutch like a scythe through the wood, it sounded like), he started shouting. Couldn't make out the words; more like an aggravated grumble.

As time has gone on, the grumbles have turned into very visceral words, and the frequency of this has definitely increased.

We're now the lucky recipients of all words vulgar and distasteful (my favourite usually), which, frankly, scare the shit out of me. When Dove came to stay, she shat herself. Didn't want to leave the flat when I was at work. It's getting increasingly regular as time goes on - I'm expecting a full soliloquay by the end of the year. Hamlet style. Except peppered with 'cunts.'

At first we thought he might've been shouting at an animal in there, or maybe just at his door, or his invisible mate. But we heard or saw nothing else, beyond his 30 second volcanic swearing eruption. He only does this when he's opening his door. He gets Taurettes. When he sees his door.

"Fuck, CUNT! Fuck shit." That's the kind of sentiment that echoes through our apartment block pretty much most nights these days. The short burst has turned from confusing, to frightening to almost norm now. "Ah, our resident nutter. At it again."

The sound penetrates our walls, it's part of the fabric now. Arrive home. Make tea. Flop on couch. Turn on telly. "FUCK SHIT CUNT ASSHOLE." A stray siren goes off somewhere.

Home Sweet Home.


Flarkit said...

Shame. Poor guy probably has been told to send DOUBLE the usual sum home to Bangalore, to pay off the family's worsening debts.

Anonymous said...

Not right. Speak to Body Corp. Why should he impose on others' personal space? Dont be the silent majority accepting stuff like this! Know you'll do sumfing ... D xx

Peas on Toast said...

Flarkit and 'D' - although it's slightly annoying and somewhat terrifying, I wouldn't report him. I do feel sorry for the guy, and he is obviously quite ill.

As long as he doesn't inflict any sort of damnation towards our door, we reckon we can handle it for now. Should it start getting frequent to the point where we think he may turn violent on himself or others, then definitely.

Anonymous said...

From what I've experienced for a good number of years in London: domestics gone shockingly wrong and affecting neigbours, drug-related murders not sensationalised on tv, neighbours' teenagers trying to run me over with their motorbikes screaming verbal abuse, knowing they will get away with this, and the police doing nothing about it when asked to because apparently legally you are not allowed to chase a juvenile on a moped...and all of this from typical Britons, your neighbor seemed tamer in comparison. Maybe he just needs to let off some steam which he can only do when he gets home, better that than being repressed and suicidal, or worse -serial. London is a tough city. But having your peace disturbed is never a good thing.