Notes From A Walkman Junkie: Life At The Abbey
“Experience the luxury! Great location (just minutes from the mall and The Olive Garden), fantastic lifestyle, The Abbey is your best choice for a new home.”
For over three years now I have lived at The Abbey. It is not a monastery supervised by an abbot, nor is it a convent supervised by an abbess; but rather an apartment complex supervised by Dina and Michael. Since living there — despite my eyes to the floor keep moving policy — I have become acquainted with a handful of my neighbors. Four specific fellow Abbey inhabitants seem to cross my path most frequently and have begun to represent a very Twilight Zone-esque aspect of my life. I have dubbed this eerie cast of characters as the following: The Suitor, The Nemesis, The Reflection, and The Future.
I first encountered The Suitor (the man courting me; my wooer) after returning from the grocery store one afternoon. I was opening the door to my apartment as he was walking down the hall to his. The Suitor — who is approximately eighty years old — turned to me and cheerfully said, “Hey, we are neighbors. We should get married and split the rent.” He has since repeated some type of similar proposal to me every time I see him. This could be due to senility; or perhaps it can be attributed to failing eyesight and he simply thinks he is offering this romantic gesture to a different gal each time. Either way, I am starting to consider it.
The Nemesis (my formidable and usually victorious rival) was next to make her presence known. My issue with The Nemesis, however, is strictly in the parking lot. We seem to be on the exact same schedule and are continuously leaving and arriving at precisely the same time. Here is the rub: I have a favorite parking spot and apparently so does she, MINE. OK, it is not technically mine, but I like a routine with little change and find it very comforting to park in the same spot everyday. The Nemesis apparently also finds it comforting to park in the same spot everyday, MINE. To add insult to injury, she drives the very same car as I do, save the color. For years now, day after day, I have distressfully watched her smug little (bright red) car whip into MY (former) spot mere moments before I reach it. This situation is wreaking havoc on my obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
Speaking of OCD, I shall now introduce The Reflection (the production of an image, namely, mine.) I noticed The Reflection and her obsessive, routinist behavior almost immediately after moving in (I can always spot my own kind.) The Reflection has a specific daily ritual that I have witnessed numerous times (obviously we are on similar schedules as well.) She owns two nearly identical cars that she paces back and forth between exactly ten times (I counted) and stares into the windows for exactly two minutes per car (I did not have much going on that day.) The Reflection is also a touch socially awkward in conversation — a trait I know well. I have in passing greeted her with a friendly (for me), “Hello” from time to time and she, in turn, has responded back with something like, “Meehmmmphrr… eh” and quickly walks away.
This brings us to the last of my Abbey crew; The Future (my expected or projected fate.) What I noted about The Future first was the objects always neatly propped up outside her door (three to many empty bottles of wine.) When I met The Future face to face I discovered that she is a lean pointy woman in her mid seventies. She approached me in the hallway at ten in the morning carrying an exceptionally large bottle of wine and snapped, “I am looking for someone to open this for me.” She is also an especially active (alcoholic) woman and rapidly walks laps around The Abbey on a daily basis and offers equally rapidus — and generally blunt — verbal exchanges. In our most recent conversation she quipped in a curt swift tone, “I am doing great now that goddamn Christmas is over.” This declaration was blurted out without any prompting from me, but I gave her a strong, “Yes” in concurrence with her as I fervidly shared the sentiment.
I am attaching Birthday by The Bird and The Bee. It seems quite lyrically fitting somehow.