Saturday, May 8, 2010
Too Close for Comfort
Today I was standing outside in my garden, just staring into space when I heard a voice above me. I looked up and there was this guy sitting on a lawn chair on the fire escape. You can make it out here -- it's the yellow thing. In all the time I'd lived here, no one has ever done that.
A long time ago, there was a young girl in the next building who would sit out on the fire escape and read -- this was at the height of the Harry Potter craze -- and she'd sit there for hours reading. She didn't bother me in the least bit, and I would occasionally talk to her, but now when I see her on the street, she is a sophisticated college girl and doesn't remember me.
When I was reviewing hotel accommodations this past week, a frequent consumer complaint is that you could hear the people above you walking and I thought I would probably not even hear that, since that's a part of everyday apartment life. "Hearing the people above me" is not a deal breaker for me in a hotel.
A few times friends who live out in the country bemoan the fact when a new house is built and they can see it... that's too close for comfort for them. When I lived on Columbus Avenue, I shared a wall with this couple and the man was always coming home from work just as I was going to sleep and they evidently would sit and have a meal or whatever and I couldn't quite make out what they were saying, but it was warm and friendly and it became comforting to go to sleep knowing my unseen neighbor was home talking to his wife.
So I now have found out what my limit is. I don't want a guy who I can see and hear sitting like King Poobah in a lawn chair above my head. Of course, I had this nasty tattle-tale thought that I could complain to the building management company since you really aren't supposed to even have anything on the fire escape, much less sit out on there but at least for today I'll let him have his chair and hope our schedules don't conflict.