When my neighbor goes out, I hear him. This building has heavy doors that have to be slammed shut. So last night around 8 pm I felt the familiar vibrations in my room.
Good, I thought. I hope he’s going someplace fun. Earlier I had heard him singing downstairs. His car has been in its spot a lot lately, and I was afraid maybe he was ill. So I was glad to know he was getting out.
He wasn’t gone long. Maybe dinner out and a movie in.
I heard him leave again around 10. Time for the bands to start. I imagined him laughing and dancing in a club downtown.
But he returned in less than an hour.
And then left again.
And came back.
And left again.
During the times I was trying to go back to sleep, I made up a story about this charming and lovely young man. He simply went to the store for cookies. Got home, decided he needed milk. Forgot his wallet and had to make another round trip.
I remember someone telling me about buying 8 balls all night long, one at a time, until the money ran out. I don’t remember the figure, just that it was several months’ rent.
I don’t know if the money ran out for my neighbor. The last time I heard the door slam it was followed by a loud thud, just the sound a large chair makes when it’s knocked over. Or just the sound a healthy male body makes when it hits the floor.
I got up this morning and put in my half-day at work. I made lunch, loaded the dishwasher. I sat by the open window to write.
The rain has begun. It is the only sound on the street. There has been no singing downstairs.
Mentally I review Chapter 5 of the Big Book. I am glad my neighbor is single, that he has no children at home.
I ask God to help him, and me, and all the homes with slamming doors.