What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Creep is gone...does that mean there's a vacancy?

Creep, adequately named for his soiled loose maroon jogging pants and greasy slick black hair and killer back room bar stench that emanates from his core, has not been seen since December 21st 2007. His real name could be Sir Barron Von Proxy for all I know, to me, he is Creep, resident of 2F, at 74 East 4th street. He has once spoken to me, or perhaps he was speaking to the little flying records that speak to him only, whizzing by his ears as he swipes them away. From his raspy breath he muttered a guttural sound then stepped aside on the narrow stairwell, "thank you." I turned to Jesse, eyes only. Did Creep actually address me? He descend at his pace and made it out the two front doors unscathed.

Back in August, Creep was plain creepy as he sat on the large concrete flower pot on the street, fresh dog urine seeping down the cracks. He was dependable, Creep, with his brown paper bag full of hopes lifting to his chapped lips for a swig. In the fall, Creep continued his daily duties of inebriation before 10 AM, this time he added on a layer, the black and white jacket that would scare away bed bugs. Winter came, as did our trip to Denver. One thing I knew I could count on, and even smile at, was seeing Creep upon arriving back in the East Village. There he would be, in the hallway, going up the stairs ever so slowly, pausing to get his balance every second step. Only this time, Creep was nowhere to be seen.

Days went by, and nothing was said. Weeks went by, maybe he has family? Months went by, maybe he is rotting in his apartment and we can't smell it because it's too cold for him to rot? Spring is here and perhaps Ice Creep is in 2F, thawing, awaiting to flood all 5 floors with his last message. Somehow, I always pictured him as a roadie for the Ramones, turned junkie, now dead in his tiny East Village Apartment between 2nd Avenue and Bowery. One thing is for certain, with Creep gone, does that mean there is a new vacancy? This town will cast you out before we even learn your name.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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