Apartment Neighbors: The Spectrum from Low-Frequency to High-Frequency

Apartment Neighbors: The Spectrum from Low-Frequency to High-Frequency


Low-frequency neighbors

Randy Rennt: Randy is your landlord, though he only remembers this on occasion. Half cross-eyed, bespectacled, and generally confused, he wanders the complex between 3:00 and 5:00 AM towing random vehicles whose owners he feels like punishing, regardless of whether or not their parking tag is visible. You meet Randy exactly twice: when you sign your lease, and when he spots you in the hall and asks if you’d like to take a tour and consider leasing.

Sheriff Sean: Sheriff Sean is a presence in your parking lot: you’ll never, ever see him, but his squad car pops up all over the place. You’re not exactly sure who Sheriff Sean is, so you try to act well-behaved around all men you see around the complex with buzz cuts and assertive gaits. An acquaintance told you “you know a cop lives in your building. His name is Sean but everyone calls him ‘Sugar.'” You envision a gallant, massive deputy with a big heart and bigger nightstick and ask your acquaintance if Sheriff Sean is single.

Manuella: Manuella carries out a mysterious existence in the only occupied basement apartment in your building. Febreeze-penetrating, vinegar-reminiscent smells waft upward from the place every few weeks, and her door is always flung open to reveal a massive my little pony collection one day and the next be completely bare, not even a nail in the paint. You’ve never seen Manuella outside of her apartment, only darting past the wide-open door in a purple mumu with her arms full of like, 10,000 extension cords or six gallons of milk. She’s probably making pipe bombs or secretly harboring Julian Assange. Maybe both.

Medium-frequency neighbors

The Workaholics: Brad, Bryce, and Brandon moved in this summer and are living the high life post-grad. They all work at a local software company and can be seen crammed onto their tiny balcony two to three nights per week cracking cans and talking loudly about that new bar on second street or that chick in distribution who’s hot in the face but kind of fat but still hot enough to bone. They often don shirts with tiny polo players featured on one boob.

Carrie and Josh: You’ll only see Carrie and Josh at night, and you’ll only find them in two moods: make out or break up. You pull into a cozy little parking spot late on a Tuesday only to realize that C&J are pressed up against the adjacent vehicle, partially clothed. They stop while you exit your car and resume once you’re a safe five feet away, and you feel like a make out interrupter/lonely fuck as you walk inside. This feeling is replaced by one of “Thank God I’m single right now,” a week later when you witness “Sexts count as cheating, JOSH!!!!!” followed by “She’s my foreign-exchange host sister!!! It’s just her culture to dress that way on Instagram!”

The garage guzzlers: These dudes have one of the complex’s ten coveted garages, and that’s all you really need to know about them. A couple nights a week it beckons to you with its soft, battery-powered lanterns and smoldering grill charcoal twinkling like Christmas lights from afar. If you walk by slowly, the guys will invite you in for a Bud heavy and a hot dog, and you’re pleasantly surprised to learn that they’re not even creepy and that Jake has a pretty impressive handle on Denver Nuggets trivia. Befriend the garage guzzlers.

High-frequency neighbors

Krissy and Missy: Krissy and Missy are blonde best friends who stand outside smoking 15 hours a day, bemoaning the fiestiness of their offspring. They wear jean skirts and tank tops exclusively and swing the front door open every couple minutes to yell “get that cat out of the fuckin laundry machine!” or “Sammi, sharpie Jason’s hair one more time and see what happens.” Krissy and Missy are hot, hardened, bad bitches whose trust can be bought only by a spare menthol, a light, and a willing ear.

Jerry Sailor: Jerry is the complex drunk. He starts his day by hoisting one plat of a case of Busch Light onto his bare, sunburned shoulders and carrying it downstairs to the parking lot where he runs a small business, “try to fix my vintage Impala while heavily intoxicated from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily.” You never actually see the hot rod in action, which is a relief considering the probable BAC of its driver.

Dan the Man: Dan the man lives across the hall from you. Dan the man wants to know everything about your day, how you like the apartment, and how your sprained ankle is healing. Dan the man tells you excitedly about his successful workouts no matter how sweaty/smelly he is or how big of a hurry you are in. Dan the man tries to crash all your parties.

-Natalie Berkley


Photo by Mike Henderson (Creative Commons)