Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Junkies in the foyer

Sunday morning, Pretty Lady's downstairs neighbor, a Japanese lady who is so charming and gregarious that Pretty Lady suspects she is not a human at all, but rather some species of higher spirit, perhaps a seraphim, knocked on the door.

"There is a used condom in the foyer," she reported.

Exclamations, hoopla, fetching of hazmat gloves, Clorox and garbage bags followed.

After cleanup and discussion, it was decided to call a building meeting. Our self-appointed Block President, Hector, was consulted; Hector confirmed that it is the habit of various junkies to set up housekeeping in any nook discovered behind an unlocked door. Recently they were evicted from the next-d00r-neighbor's basement, which is why they are now inhabiting our foyer.

(I must pause to sing a paean to Hector. Hector guards everyone's automobiles for free. Whenever Pretty Lady forgets to move hers, he generally rings her doorbell and warns her before she gets a parking ticket. Once, when she totally spaced and left it double-parked for nine hours, Hector bravely chased away all tow trucks, traffic cops and angry neighbors until she emerged from her trance at 9 PM. Once he appeared magically with a jumper-box when her battery died; he was morally responsible for the fact that when a carting company dropped a dumpster on her truck, they paid up in cash as soon as her mechanic made his estimate. If Hector is away for any reason, such as going to the hospital for an hour for physical therapy, and God forbid anyone gets a ticket or a bicycle is stolen, he apologizes, up, down and sideways for dereliction of duty. Hector is an uber-seraphim.)

When the ground-floor neighbors were contacted, much light was shed on the situation, in fact too much. "They wake us up every night at four AM, going in and out and in and out and screaming at each other. We clean up the needles every morning. We're going bananas. We're so glad you called."

All of us, at one moment or another, have remarked upon the man's wallet left in the foyer, and have shuffled it around indecisively. It may still be at the bottom of the magazine box, but none of us have checked lately.

Yesterday evening, Pretty Lady and her Japanese neighbor invited everyone up to the roof for a carouse. Much wine was consumed, and the party continued until everyone simultaneously remembered they had to be up at 5. Future social engagements were made, business contacts were exchanged, and it was decided that we would deliver a simultaneous ultimatum to the landlord about putting a light and a lock on the outer door, or else we will all stop paying rent.

Bless those junkies. They have precipitated a community.


Anonymous said...

I miss that about living in the country--or anywhere but the ghetto, for that matter. Luckily we can rely on General Lee, real name unknown, who is sullen, silent, and flies a Confederate flag, to chase hooligans away from our car and to sit on his stoop cleaning his guns at 1 AM on Saturday mornings to deter those who think that drinking and smoking fatties in the parking lot is a good idea. Sometimes, just sometimes, it's nice to be a little white girl ;)

Anonymous said...

Mitzi has a bit of the country in her location. There was a mule tied to the trash dumpster one morning.... And some of the neighbors can easily be described as "country".