the next-door neighbor who i mostly refer to as my roommate, not because i think of him as such, but because that's the word that comes out.
i worry about whether my music is too loud--can he tell that i play the same three songs again and again? i wonder if he can hear my television and knows just how many episodes of the west wing i've watched since moving in. if i cook brussell sprouts does their tremendous smell (ugh) spill over from the hallway into his flat?
much time has been spent discussing whether i should leave a note. or a loaf of my famous banana bread. or maybe i should just hop over and ask to borrow sugar (never mind that i have plenty here). i mean, this man is my neighbor after all, perhaps he should have my spare set of keys? perhaps i should know his name so that if there is ever--God forbid--a serious issue, i can pound on his door and there will be some rapport.
maybe it's that i know we share a fire escape. that in this sense, he is the one person who well... quite honestly, could get into my apartment.
i've only seen him once. i've lived here just about two months now and i've only seen him once. maybe that is why i've come to think of him in the abstract.
it was the day i moved in. pushing a massive chest of drawers up the stairs, he squeezed past us--pizza box in hand. i can't tell you what he looked like. he was young, i think. cute, i think? when we (the girls and i) finally got the dresser up the stairs i said, let's leave it in the hallway for a moment, i can't even think about this or look at it right now. we showered, cleaned up, and when we finally decided to embark on that last push--getting the dresser through the doorway, he emerged from the studio next door, offered to help, apologized--said he should have offered earlier on his way up. i granted a pardon on account of the hot pizza. and that was the extent of our interaction.
two months. and i've only seen him that once.
well, except for the time that saw me leave my apartment just ten seconds after he left his (no, not planned. get your head out of the gutter, we've not entered stalker territory just yet) and i followed closely enough behind to try and get a good look. i lost him into the brooklyn bread bakery when i continued on to the subway. and that was that.
sometimes, coming home late at night, there is comfort in seeing his light on. i think it's an issue of knowing there is another presence. knowing that as separate and isolated and sometimes lonely our lives can be--and the spheres we occupy--there's another light on, another life just on the other side of the wall.
so the question remains... note? basket of muffins? request for a power drill?