Oh man, just had one of those funny neighbor things happen. We have a nutcase in our building who has been waging a war with another neighbor because she thinks he parks his bike too close to her stupid big, cumbersome gas-filled fire hazard of a scooter in the common area. Mind you, she also puts a can of gas next to it which she chains up with everything. She never asked anyone if this was okay, just did it. Everyone in the building, and at the local Starbucks avoids her because well, she's an unstable, passive-aggressive whack. She walks with a rigid, always ready to defend body and looks at you with wide and crazy eyes set inside a bird-like face perched upon a stiff neck. Another neighbor, whom I'll call A, and I learned how psycho she was when I told her someone had stopped by her apartment when she was gone. She tensed up and commanded, "I don't want anyone knowing where I live! You see anyone come to my door, tell them to GO FUCK THEMSELVES!!" And here I had just been expecting a simple thank you. She then walked around for a half hour, looking for the culprits.
Another neighbor, not the one who witnessed her congenial suggestion that I take toward her unannounced visitors, (I'll call her B) and I were talking when the nut spotted the object of her wrath, a Russian college student, parking his bike next to her scooter. He's a nice film student who lives across from me and is a good neighbor. The nut was in her bathrobe, hair wet, and approached him, pointing to a piece of her tail light on the ground. She grunted, "How do you think that happened, huh?" Her face was pressed into a pile of towels she'd just folded in the laundry room, and she wouldn't make eye contact. She continued, "How do you think that happened huh? Right there, that. How do you think that happened? Huh?" She continued to antagonize him, even illustrating her point by kicking the piece of tail light across the courtyard. He barely acknowledged her and went to his apartment. B and I stood there stunned. A couple weeks later, the first note appeared, telling him to move his bike because it was well, in "her way." He didn't.
Tonight, she struck again. I learned when yet another neighbor, we'll call her C, knocked on my door, snickering. She said, "Did you see it?" When she saw that I clearly hadn't, she said, "You gotta come see this." She pointed toward the bike, and I saw the silhouetted scroll, on the Russian kid's bike. "Oh shit," I said, joining in the snickerfest, then put on a jacket and walked toward the bike. I saw this, minus my editorial comments:
Needless to say, I knocked on the window of two other neighbors, a married couple, and motioned for them to come outside. As we stood there laughing at the note, we heard a door open, slowly...from the direction of her apartment.
And that's when we panicked. I bolted and slammed right into the husband, and him into me. His wife darted toward another apartment and the neighbor who had called me outside teleported via light speed to her door, big Tupperware of lentil soup still cradled in her arm. It. Was. Hilarious. Grown adults running like little kids who had just been delivered the scare-tactic punch at the end of a spooky campfire story. Except in our case, it was the wife's brother who had innocently ambled outside to see what the fuss was about and we were terrified it was the boogeyman neighbor coming to get us.
Perhaps I should leave a nightlight on tonight...