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.