What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Sweet Dreams

I moved to NYC in the early 90's and shared a two-bedroom apartment with a whiny roommate who ate only Hamburger Helper. Because she was so annoying, my boyfriend and I usually stayed at his luxury co-op on the Upper West Side. When my lease was up, I ditched the roomie for my very own place in Gramercy Park.

The upside was that I'd be living alone, and the rent was reasonable. The downside was that it was a railroad style on the first floor with scant natural light and a shower in the kitchen. But it was cozy, and I was proud.

The bedroom was so narrow it required a trundle-style twin bed that flipped out into a double to accommodate guests. One hot summer night, I invited my boyfriend to spend the night for the first time.

"But you don't have A/C," he said.

"I know, but I have a fan. And a window to put it in! Please? Come on! It'll be fun!"

He relented. When it was time to turn in, I switched on the small box fan in the alley-facing window at the foot of the bed to alleviate the heat.

As we drifted off, sweating atop the covers, a couple in another apartment--possibly in the building next door--started fighting. They obviously relied on their open window to cool off, because they were so loud they may as well have been in the trundle bed with us.

"Nice," my boyfriend said to me in the pitch dark.

"It's fine. It'll die down. It's okay," I replied, trying to convince him—and myself—
that slumming it for a night at my place wasn't a terrible idea.

"Fuck YOU!" screamed the woman.

"No, fuck YOU!" screamed the man.

"FUCK YOU!" they screamed in unison.

And so it went, for what seemed like hours, as we lay there listening and wondering whether or not to call 911.


"WHAT!?!?!" shouted the man.


Braced for his reply, we didn't hear an answer, just an eerie and deafening silence.

My boyfriend never stayed at my apartment again.


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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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