What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Twelve Hours Later Upstairs

when living in a college town in texas, in a house split into four apartments, I had an upstairs neighbor with florid, untreated mental illness. His paranoia and delusions would lead him to do unusual things, such as 1) boring holes into my baseboard from the hallway at precise distances, one inch above the floor in order to "let the air out"; 2) emptying his freezer and leaving raw chicken and beef in my dog's water bowl in the backyard because the "man who lived in his refrigerator" had turned the electricity off; 3) declaring with much enthusiasm his discovery, at 3am one week-night after much banging on my front door, that it was 12 hours later upstairs and finally 4) while I'd noticed the hose from the yard was missing, I didn't realize he had it--- until the ceiling collapsed underneath him from the weight of the water. He had been watering down the walls and floors of his apartment by attaching the hose to the sink to "see the bugs". I was alerted to this when my across-the-hall neighbor started screaming, and I found her standing in the bedroom, with white plaster all over everything, shaking a pistol at this guy upstairs, through a hole in her ceiling. She was shouting at him "You come down here and I'll shoot, I swear". While he in turn insisted it was not his fault, but rather she was boring her way up through the ceiling to "get him." I wasn't sure who was going to get shot....but I was pretty sure someone was going to get hurt!

All ended up peacefully, and soon thereafter, he was reunited with his family, I believe. After removal of much mold and debris from his apartment, a new neighbor moved in........and all stories and drama ceased!


No comments yet, why not leave one of your own?

Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

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.

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.