“You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius; but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor.” – Walter Bagehot
A M E M O R A B L E K I N D O F S M I L E
This is the conclusion of my two part blog article regarding last Wednesday’s Word Prompt NEIGHBORS posted on my partner Susan and my alternate site Weekly Prompts.
I concluded the article as a cliff hanger since I too did not know what the guy upstairs was doing with a power saw on a sunny Saturday afternoon allowing a steady shower of stray saw dust particles to float freely onto my balcony directly below his.
The buzz of the saw lasted roughly 30 minutes and I was itching to go upstairs and face the as yet faceless tenant. I also wondered what happened to the female manageress I had spoken to on the phone.
I will start off by saying that no stray body parts were tossed over the railing from the suite above mine and that the racket only lasted a short time. Then the suite was eerily quiet the rest of the afternoon.
My questions were answered on Sunday afternoon. I decided to write an email to the onsite manageress and explain to her the details of the previous day. I also indicated that her counterpart did not contact me on the Saturday as she promised she would.
I sent the email about two p.m. and received a phone call from the woman I had spoken to the day previous. She apologized for not returning my call and told me she visited the suite in question and that the room mate was using the saw to build some type of signage. She said she had to manage two rental properties and was too busy to get back to me.
I was grateful she was not harmed and as I prepared to have my lunch a loud hammering started from the above suite. I wondered what the guy was doing now building a sarcophagus or an Ark.
I put on my shoes and walked upstairs to the suite and knocked loudly on the door. A small gnome like middle aged male answered the door and looked at me quizzically. In one hand he had a hammer in the other a knife with a five inch blade. This was getting interesting.
I asked him what all the banging was all about. He said he had just started the hammering and did not see any reason for concern. I asked him how long the hammering would continue and he told me he was making a handle for the knife in his hand. Hmmmm.
He invited me in to see where he was working and I entered the suite which was sparsely furnished having two leather couches, no kitchen table or chairs, a type of padded canvas on the floor and heavy bar bells and other types of weight lifting equipment scattered throughout the living room. A stand up punching bag was on the floor near one of the couches
I immediately understood why there was the occasional thumping sound on my ceiling: the guy was lifting weights and working with the power saw at the same time. Completely understandable. Not.
I told him I was retired and asked what he did for a living. He turned on his cell phone and showed me photos of elaborate and lovely wooden decks he and his partner built. He was proud of his work.
He also let me hold the knife he was constructing. It had a roughly constructed five inch blade and he told me he was now working on the handle. Remnants of saw dust from his previous day’s activities were still evident on the canvas mat near the balcony door.
He apologized for the disturbance his hammering was causing and told me his work would be completed within the hour.
I left his suite relieved that I had discovered the reason for all the mysterious squeaking sounds coming from his suite over the past number of weeks since I had moved into the suite below his. It sounded like his suite was plagued with gigantic mice. At least it sounded that way to me .
Not knowing anything about your next door neighbor in my opinion only escalates animosity and ill will towards them even though their actions may be completely innocent.
I realize that this guy and his living conditions might seem a little strange to most of us but that setup works well for him.
Sunday afternoon when I was returning home from a drive in the country I met the guy at the entranceway. He showed me the finished product complete with a hand made leather sheath. He was very proud of his work. I was grateful he was harmless and very appreciative that I did not run into the business end of the knife.
There are many weird neighbors in my building but to date this neighbor is the most innocuous of them all.
Who knows I might seem a bit off kilter to him as well.
Such is life I guess. 🙂
I would like to thank my partner Susan for catching my typing errors and letting me know their presence in the article. I am currently having vision problems and hopefully will be better soon. 🙂