What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Steve-the-Crackhead and Steve-the-Lawyer

When I was an undergrad, my life was full of Steves. I hopelessly pined after Steve the drummer, while my best friend was stalked by Steve the psycho, and on both sides of my little yellow house on Summit Street lived Steve-the-crackhead and Steve-the-lawyer.

Steve-the-crackhead had three daughters who also lived with him. The two youngest would come over to my house to play games with my roommates and I in the yard while we chain-smoked for hours. Meanwhile, Steve-the-crackhead would go covort with the boys across the street who always had drugs.

One night when we were coming home from downtown, we found Steve-the-crackhead mulletside up in the drainage ditch. He was arrested one week later on drug charges after spending the greater part of that week hiding under an old abandoned house around the corner.

Steve-the-awyer had these two loud ass barking dogs that I used to have vivid dreams about murdering. In these lucid dreams, I would get out of my bed, go into the kitchen, get a knife out of the drawer, jump from my back deck over the chain link fence and stab, stab, stab. These thoughts simultarneously thrilled and frightened me as I was a dedicated vegetarian at the time.

Often when I was awakened at night by these dogs, I would wake up and cast a drowsy eye through my sheer lace curtains into the unmasked kitchen of Steve the lawyer's house. He was a middle-aged man who was often spotted entertaining young ladies who needed legal assistance for being busted for their risk-taking behavior.

When we first moved into the little yellow house, Steve-the-lawyer promptly came over to introduce himself. It took him about .5 seconds to rub my leg and drop the fact that he had given legal counsel to the band String Cheese Incident.

I revisited my old street several years later. Steve-the-crackhead was back on the streets. His family had moved to the house across the street. Steve-the-lawyer was still strategically positioned on a bar stool at a corner bar to prey on the neverending march of indiscriminate twenty-year-old girls. He looked like he had been prematurely aged a decade by steeping in this cloud of cigarette smoke. The neighborhood was strangely quiet and still--his dogs were dead.


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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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