What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?


We were in college. They dragged a keg out onto the metal grate walkway that ran between the apartments. Big, brawny, strapping meatheads would gather on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, drinking. The metallic crash of empty beer cans against the asphalt and the snapping of crumpled red plastic solo cups rang out into the night. I would watch them from my window, wishing I was there amongst them, drinking, laughing. But instead I went to bed early, studying hard and getting myself involved in extra-curriculars. I had an open invite to the parties and was always treated like royalty when I approached. But I went rarely, I should have gone more, experienced more, lived more. They got high, they drank, they skipped class--and who are they now? Investment bankers, real-estate brokers, lawyers. Who am I? Well, that hasn't yet been decided.
There was this one night, where they thought that I or someone I knew stolen a bottle of barcardi from their apartment. (I did steal it, their barcardi, but it was only because they had taken our tequila first). And they came crashing though our door with a quickness and yelled, well I shouldn't say what they were yelling, not in mixed company. We laugh about it now. We call it "the altercation".
They were good neighbors, made us laugh, ate our food. They were our boys, "the lost boys". A few nights, I fell asleep on their couch (probably from a contact high) and one of them would cover me with the steelers blanket that they kept on the back of their couch. I am still close with one of them, he likes to remind me of how I stayed away. But now, I wish I didn't stay away. Now, I want to be close to him, to hear that screen door snap and know he's standing in the kitchen. To hear their parties and the laughing and the yelling and even the "altercations". Do I really want him? Or maybe, I want that life back, the one where my biggest fears were whether or not their party would keep me up and make me late for class the next day. Its hard to say, but I hope that door hasn't snapped shut for good.


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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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