Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Law and Order & my neighbors

I was watching some version of Law and Order a few nights ago and it reminded me of this...

When I lived in CA, I had a place less than a block from the beach and a really great tan. My apartment was a garden apartment with seven units. As a group we weren't close but knew each other and chatted often enough. It was an interesting mix of people that came and went during my three years at the apartment.

Some of us were single in our 20s/30s...on one side my next door neighbor was a huge partier and once I woke up to bloody hand prints on my door and outside wall because one of his friends cut himself and pounded on my door thinking it was Pete's unit (oddly enough I knew it had to be one of Pete's friends and wasn't alarmed by the late-night pounding). Pete was an incredible cook and when I had knee surgery and was laid up for two weeks he made dinners and brought them to me. One upstairs neighbor was a bitter woman who taught kids on movie/tv sets and did her aerobics at 6am on Saturdays. When I asked if she could do her exercises later because the constant pounding on my ceiling woke me, she assured me I was already awake. Huh? She also moved out at midnight to avoid paying rent for the previous month. Another neighbor (although for a short time) trained the dogs for the K-9 police unit. There was a 35-year-old grandmother, a quiet older man (he moved away rather quickly), a couple from Texas, a shy guy with a motorcycle and a 25-year-old who desperately wanted to date the grandmother. We sometimes got together on the deck and had group dinners.

A couple moved into the apartment on the other side of me and they were a bit more reserved than the rest of the group--more loners. The woman introduced herself but I never knew the name of her boyfriend/husband/lover/creepy companion. Sometimes I would greet Christine but the b/h/l/cc would quickly tell Christine to get inside or pull her away. Needless to say I didn't really care for him but I rarely saw him. I do recall after the MLK earthquake that the tenants stood outside chatting and he showed up opening a beer at 5am--that's not relevant to the story--just something that's clear in my memory when I think about the earthquake.

(Honestly, I'm getting to the part that reminded me of Law & Order.) One night I was home and walked the 15 feet or so from my unit to the laundry room. In the time it took me to put the quarters in the machine, add the detergent and toss my clothes in the washer, police showed up next door. As I nearly ran peeing my pants calmly walked from the laundry room to my apartment, I saw three policemen standing at my neighbors' open door with guns aimed inside. I also saw that the neighbor who I thought was creepy and not so nice to Christine had a tripod of guns in the middle of his living room. I quickly scooted into my apartment and expected to hear a shoot-out. I never saw either one of them again.

After they moved out (or went to jail, who knows?), I heard that there was a time Creepy Companion held Christine hostage in the apartment and took all of her clothes so she wouldn't/couldn't leave while he was away. She escaped through a window and ran naked to one of the homes on our street but Creepy Companion arrived home, saw her running and chased after her.

Cue the Law & Order music...


  1. OMG! You should write a book about living in that apartment! :)

  2. Oh freaky!!! Interesting, but FREAKY!
    I was thinking the quiet older man who moved away quickly was a serial killer or something...which maybe he was, but at least you didn't have to hide in your apt. with your head covered with a metal bowl to stay safe from a shoot out! Sheesh!

  3. All I can think about is your neighbor doing aerobics above your head. bwahaha. The fact that she said you were already awake...I know so many people like that.

    I think your post had something to do with guns, right? Actually, I love your stories from your other life. :)

  4. Oh.My. What an interesting bunch. I agree, you should write a book. You could really embellish those characters and have a hit book series!

  5. Wow. And I thought the Munsters downstairs in our first apartment were weird... You could definitely write a book.

  6. Yikes! That's frickin' scary :|

    I laughed at the part where you ran from the laundry room "calmly" haha!!

  7. Wow. That is better than Law and Order. Great (yet scary) stories!

  8. I reallyreallyreally hope that Christine did manage to get away from the creepy companion and stay away!!!

  9. Wow its like Melrose place but with less nudity

  10. I'm loving the aerobics chicky, LOL. How funny. And freaky, definitely entertaining.

  11. What happens to these people? Do they just ignore the red flags?

    I dont' get it. I'd stay away. I think some people are attracted to the dark side stuff, and then they're all shocked when the guyis true to his colors.

    Poor woman. I hope she got away. Never to hookup with that kind of junk again.