What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

The Fightin' Renters

... were a lesbian couple with a volatile relationship and a nasty nicotine habit. Their constant arguments, and constant cigarette smoke, would spill over into our apartment. “Sarah” flew off the handle during many of their loud, violent fights, and made sure everyone heard.

We’d be sitting at home any given evening, and muffled yelling would come from the other side of the wall. It would escalate, escalate, escalate, and then – SLAM!—Sarah would bang out of their apartment, slamming the door to illustrate to the entire fifth floor how pissed off she was. Our walls would rattle. One night, the impact was so hard, it knocked a custom-framed honeymoon photo off the wall. It crashed; the glass cracked. I put down my fork.
“That’s it,” I said to Kevin. “I’m saying something.”
I opened my door, and there was Sarah, standing across from the elevator, head down in a pout, arms crossed tightly, nervously tapping her foot, waiting for the elevator. Seems to me that if you’re pissed off enough, the stairs, which were right next to the elevator, are a more expedient way to storm off, but apparently Sarah was pissed off and lazy enough to wait for the elevator.

I walked up to her. My voice was firm. “Sarah, this has got to stop.”
She responded in a tight voice. “You don’t know what’s going on.”
“No, I don’t. I know this is hard, but—“
“Oh, you don’t know how hard this is,” she interrupted me.
“Listen—“ I was firmer now. I was not going to let her talk her way out of this one and think that her recklessness had zero consequences. “This. Has. Got to stop. You and Hillary fight every other day. You get pissed off and you slam your door. Well, you just knocked an expensive picture off my wall and broke the glass. Listen to me. We own here. You rent. I know you’re angry, but you’ve got to take others into consideration. You’re disturbing us when you fight, and you just broke my picture.”
Sarah kept shaking her head, and she exhaled sharply through her nose. She said quietly, “It won’t happen again.”
“Thank you. That’s all I ask.”
Their fighting did continue, but after that hallway confrontation, Sarah somehow figured out a way to storm off quietly. I guess she finally found the stairs.

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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.

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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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