What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?


I sleep in the living room on my Moroccan couch (ahem – futon). Next to the wall. Well, of course, next to the wall. Where else do you put a bed?

Dead asleep. 3 A.M.

More thuds on the wall. The floor shakes again.
“Oh, shit – Do I call the cops?”
“No! Of course not. What the hell time is it?”

“It sounds like someone's getting beat up.”
“Someone could get really hurt. What if I'm the only one who hears this?”
“No. No one's getting beat up.”

“What do you think?”
I want to ask to he who is dead asleep and not actually present, on the empty side of my bed. I often want to ask him questions. “Hey, what's that?” “Do I need to do something about this?” “Has the milk gone bad?” Stuff like that.

Everything gets quiet.
I'm relieved in the same way I was relieve when that stray dog moved along. To someone else's Welcome Mat.

The low rumble of techno music – no, an action film – pulses through our wall, keeping me awake. “Damn it – I need to sleep. It's only Thursday.”

It's always a Thursday night. The same night the cigarette butts end up in the exact same spot on my porch. The same night the silence of Next Door slides into the sounds of... Spousal Abuse – or Sex.
The sounds of sex - or so I speculate.

I met him once. Great abs.
And, I know a thing or two now: I've been watching _Queer As Folk_.
These sounds would, of course, be the Wrestling that precedes the Sex.

I smile from my liver.
They are bonding, connecting, warming up. How sweet is that.
I'm so wise in the ways of men.

It'll stop eventually -- and I'll get some sleep. Or, that's what I thought the first time. Now I know:

Bars close. (This part I don't hear.)
Door slams.
Bodies slam – and wrestling commences.
Some time passes.
Then, the low rumble of subwoofers indicates the fun is over and relaxation has begun. War movies, Action films.

There's no sleeping through the floorplay. The subwoofers, though, those I'm learning to sleep through. Glad he's getting something out of all those crunches.

Or so I speculate.


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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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