You have to break a few eggs

I was going to write a little something something about last year’s resolutions, and how they were going.  But then I looked at my resolution post, and I don’t think I quite lived up to my expectations, except for the losing weight one.  So no resolutions for this year.  I’m just going to try to be the best darn Noelle I can be.

So that gives me plenty of time to tell you a story of my upstairs neighbor.  As you may recall, he has a kind of fun last name that is a synonym for bandit, robber, felon, fugitive.  It starts with “out” and ends with “law.”  It turns out that his first name is actually kind of normal, and it’s the woman he lives with whose last name is that of the Stooge that is not Larry or Moe.  Got that?  Good.  Moving on.

All I know about this guy is that he lives with a woman, and when he walks around the apartment, he does so in a manner that shakes the foundations of the entire building.  Also, they occasionally vacuum the entire apartment about 30 minutes after I go to bed.  Other than that, they’ve been of no particular bother, until recently.

One time I heard a noise in the vestibule (our two apartments share a common outside door in the front, but I always use the back door to come and go.)  I looked through the peephole to investigate the noise and saw my upstairs neighbor putting a trash bag in front of the door.  That in itself was not so odd, but for the fact that it was almost freezing outside, and he was wearing not a stitch of clothing.  I suppose he wasn’t expecting me to be peeping.  But still…

A few weeks after I moved in, he invited me over to watch football, but I declined.  A few weeks after that, my cats were being extremely loud in their fighting, so I made them a loaf of bread to ensure some preemptive peace between our shared floor and ceiling.  When I delivered it, Mr. Bandit told me that he’d invite me up, but the Not Larry or Moe woman (whose first name I still don’t know) was naked.  As if that was some kind of chronic condition that couldn’t be remedied by a bathrobe.  But that’s fine, I wasn’t terribly interested in coming up to their den of flesh.

A day or two after the peace bread offering, I was asleep in my bed when I heard the doorbell ring around 11PM (that would be one hour after I went to bed.)  It was Mr. Bandit, wearing only sweatpants.  My first thought was that maybe there was some kind of problem that needed help and there was no time to put on a shirt to do it.  But no, he just wanted to know if “I wanted some company.”  Uh, no.  That’s when I noticed that not only does he have problems with clothes, but he has one serious lazy eye.  And by lazy, I mean it’s not gotten off the couch in about a year.  One eye was looking at me, and the other was checking out the back of his head.  I don’t mean to dis those with lazy eyes, but I was mesmerized because I’ve never seen one so intensely lazy in my life.  After a minute of uncomfortable staring, I told him that any time after 10 was too late in my world.

Shortly after that, I started waking up at 5am to feed the cats and get ready for swimming, because I find that I need to eat something before I swim, but I need about an hour to avoid those dreaded cramps.  While I digest, and before I leave for the 6am swim, I like to listen to the radio and chill on the couch.  On the day in question, Micki was being about as loud as a five pound cat can be, and I was listening intently to the radio to figure out if school was being closed for snow.  (I swim at a middle school pool.)  At 5:15, my doorbell rings.

My first thought is that oh shit, Mr. Bandit is pissed that I woke him up so early, and the cat screaming and the radio playing is killing his naked beauty sleep.  And yeah, I heard him clomping around while I was getting ready.  I throw on as many clothes as I can find (I was just getting dressed into my swimsuit, and I’m not about to answer the door that way) and open the door to see my neighbor, sweatpannted*, shirtless, and fully lazy eyed.


“Hi.  I was just wondering if I can borrow an egg.”

“um, okay.”

Because I was so surprised that he wasn’t complaining, I didn’t think twice about the oddness of it all, so I shut the front door, and brought back a carton of eggs, handing him one.

“here’s an egg.”

He takes the egg, and holds it for a moment, looking confused.

“do you need another or something?”

“I’ll be honest.  I don’t need an egg.  I just wanted to come over.”


“I’m going to take the egg back then.  You can’t come over, I’m about to go swimming.”

“I can tell, you have a really hot body**.”

(ew! ew! ew!)

“Yeah, well, it’s really early for this.”

And I shut the door.  I kicked myself for not telling him off for being creepy, and divulging the swimming information.  But I was so caught off guard by the fact that he wasn’t angry about noise, I completely suppressed my instinct to be pissed that a virtual stranger thought it was okay to invite himself over before dawn.

Later that day at swimming, my swimming buddy offered to come over and kick his ass.  But I think the more logical solution is to never answer the door for him again, including when he rang it at 9am on Christmas Eve. And they’re certainly never getting another loaf of bread.

When I dropped off my January rent, I got to chatting with the community director, and she told me that the woman who used to live in my apartment complained about him all the time.  The director thought that it might have been a racial thing since the woman who used to live in my apartment is Arabic and the neighbor is black (and the Not Moe or Larry woman is white.)  But she also complained that he liked to vacuum the vestibule naked, and that kind of inappropriate cleaning knows no racial barriers.  The possible good news is that the director thinks that he’s not renewing his lease.  The possible bad news is that maybe he just couldn’t see the lease since his other eye was looking down her blouse.

Since you asked:

*no, he does not look good in sweatpants.  He’s just pudgy enough to be on the border, but he shoud wear shirts.

**No, he’s never seen my body to make that kind of judgement.

***I have no idea where the Not Moe or Larry woman was, or what kind of relationship they have.  But his apartment is a one-bedroom, and once I heard them having relations.  Loudly.


35 responses to this post.

  1. You know, after your last landlady, you deserve normal neighbors. This one obviously doesn’t qualify.

    There was a fleeting moment where through the disgust I thought, “I could blog this…”

  2. I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    He sounds like a real creeper – I think that you’re being smart in not answering the door anymore. Hopefully he gets the message and leaves you alone.

    After much thought, not answering the door seems like my best bet.

  3. Yeah, we were all worried you’d be lacking blog fodder without the landlesbian around. Clearly that is not the case.

    A couple apartments ago, I lived next door to a girl who was frequently caught without pants in the hallways. She was about five, though, so it wasn’t nearly as unsettling. Her poor mother once said to me, “It’s like pulling teeth to get that girl to keep her pants on!” I resisted the urge to reply that I hoped she grew out of that by high school.

    Also, “Den of flesh”? Brilliant (albeit terrifying).

    THAT would have been a funny thing to say…

  4. Posted by Jennifer M. on January 6, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Oh dear. I now feel better that I only have to deal with the fact that my neighbors’ religious beliefs are such that there are occasionally proselytizers around: all they want to do is give me a pamphlet. They are fully clothed, in fact they are modestly clothed.

    Sometimes I do have an appreciation for religious modesty.

  5. Oh, dear. I think you have a terminal case of Bad Neighbor Karma. Oh, dear.

    Yeah, I’m ready to buy a house on an isolated island.

  6. Seriously? The egg thing before 6 am?


    Yeah, make a note. That shit don’t fly.

  7. Oh man, that’s creepy. Can you get Birmingham to do you a favor of coming over and making a very visible appearance as someone you may or may not have a relationship with so the guy thinks you’re taken and leaves you the heck alone?

    He’s come over since and made some intentional noise. I’m just worried that Mr. Bandit might REALLY take that the wrong way.

  8. Umm, EWWW. That dude is a creep. Keep both of your eyes on him- at least you have a one-up on him there.

    tee hee.

  9. Ew ew ew! Being hit on by a man who takes out the trash in the buff is NOT okay. Who comes over to not-really-borrow an egg before 6 a.m.? YIKES.

    Why did it have to be so many kinds of wrong?

  10. Eww, how sketchy. Sorry your new neighbor is a weirdo. I’ve got some strange ones too, and you just inspired me to blog about them!

    I hope that he does not inspire another post.

  11. I was going to be miffed about the comments about lazy eyes but I was too scared for your own well being.

    This is no run of the mill lazy eye. It’s like his defining characteristic. It’s 100% more lazy than any eye I’ve ever seen. And I couldn’t even look away at his shirtless chest.

  12. Posted by wellthenhowaboutthisone on January 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Ew, ew, ew.

    Maybe it’s my lazy eye, but I first understood this:

    “A few weeks after that, my cats were being extremely loud in their fighting, so I made them a loaf of bread”

    to mean that you baked bread for your cats to keep them quiet.

    I hope you have something heavy to put in front of your door.

    JD at I Do Things

    That’s funny! Someone has misplaced her modifier…

  13. All creepiness aside (ew ew ew), I hate it when people ask to borrow something that could not or should not be returned. No, you CAN’T borrow an egg, a tissue, a piece of gum, or lotion.

    True that! It’s also something that ran through my head while going to get the egg.

  14. OHMIGOD, you’re reminding me of apartment life. Those days I don’t miss.

    I don’t know how you do it but I envy your courage.

    Well, whaddayagonnado? I’m pretty impressed with the stuff you put up with at your home.

  15. i say go for it, he sounds like a winner!

    in all seriousness, i’ll never understand how some (ookie) guys think. i was once chatted up by an older, creepy dude at a starbucks who would not leave me alone (despite making it very obvious that i was trying to study), made constant remarks about my beauty (to the point where people were looking over), and kept insisting that i go to his house for a steak dinner (steak? really? oh, i am so impressed…) i ended up slamming my books shut and storming out of there… praying that he didn’t follow (he didn’t). i guess it only happens to the best of us!

    yuck. I hate feeling cornered like that.

  16. Oh wow. That’s quite a neighbor story.

    Don’t you hate it when you’re so shocked by the situation that you kick yourself later for not saying something more assertive? But how do you fix it? I mean, it’s not like you could have stood in front of your mirror and practiced things to say in case the neighbor came down to borrow an egg, except he didn’t really want the egg.

    Exactly! I thought of so many things to say later, but that’s because my anger was totally delayed.

  17. Yowswers.

    Years ago, we lived in an apartment in Dublin that was just the upstairs of a house. We had a kitchen and a bathroom, a living room and a bedroom, but the only thing separating our apartment from the downstairs apartment’s hallway was the stairs. Which were open at the top. So I could stand anywhere in my hallway and see downstairs’ hallway.

    The guy who lived downstairs with his wife and baby daughter had a bad habit of walking around completely nekkid, singing opera. I was never sure which part of that I found more alarming.

    Oh that is alarming. In my old apartment, I used to be able to see “naked kitchen guy” from my kitchen window. But he actually wore boxers. And I wasn’t exactly always completely clothed myself…

  18. And that is why I never try to talk to my neighbors!

    Holy crap – that is creepy.

    I like the “be friendly but not friends” theory of neighbors. With the exception of my old Christmas tree neighbors (not the landlesbian), they were awesome.

  19. Posted by lizgwiz on January 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I’m so glad I live in a house. There’s a bit of a barrier between me and any possibly creepy neighbors. The retired fellow next door once told me I had beautiful lips, but that’s the creepiest it’s ever gotten. And that was a couple of years ago, now that I think about it…what, my lips aren’t what they used to be? 😉

    That’s a random compliment if I’ve ever heard one… But at least not 100% creepy.

  20. ewww! I want to think of something witty to say, but… ewww!

    Sometimes that’s all you can say.

  21. That is sooo creepy.

    Word. Word.

  22. Early on in this post I thought, “That sounds like our upstairs neighbor,” what with the stomping and vacuuming.

    Not even close. You win.

    And… gross.

    I think it’s your story that first compelled me to one-up you.

  23. Noooooooo! No no no no!

    When we were looking at houses we looked at a house that was supposed to be empty and there was a naked man in its bathroom. I still haven’t forgotten that lol

    It sounds like the next time he talks to you, you should be really direct – not mean, but just straight up “Don’t talk to me like that, I’m not interested in what you think of my body, I’m not interested in your nudity.”

    I’ve thought about talking to him after the fact, but I’m afraid I’ll lose my point half-way through. I’m going to stick with the don’t answer the door theory.

    Okay, maybe that’s a little mean, but I would go there. I’ll video blog my response to his actions and you can burn them to a DVD along with 100 other outraged internet opinions and you can just slip it under the door. How about that?

  24. Ew, ew, ew, ew. I think I’m going to need to burn my computer from that. I’m sorry you keep getting the worst kind of neighbors.

  25. Maybe he uses one eye to find his sweatpants but the lazy eye can’t get its act together to find his sweatshirt?

    Are you sure you didn’t move into one of those swinger communities? I’m sure he and the woman are spreading all kinds of gossip among the rest of the naked vacuumers about just how square you are.

  26. I want to leave a humorous comment, but I can’t muster one because I’ve read Gavin DeBecker’s book The Gift of Fear and this guy’s behavior sounds so familiar. Oh, please, please never engage this guy again. Like not even a wave or ‘good morning.’ shudders….

  27. OMG!
    I’ve been away from your blog for a bit and figured I’d swing over to wish you a Happy New Year and find these. Eeek! What a creep.

    Isn’t it funny that even when things are going totally wonky we think “well, I can blog about this…” Oh the life of a blogger.

    Anyway, I hope Mr. Creepy man stays far, far away from you. Blech.

  28. Oh yeah, and also Happy 09! Creepy man distracted me.

  29. Yep. This is why I don’t talk to my neighbors. And don’t mind that my cats run around at 3 AM.

  30. Well that is just fucking creepy. I hope his sweatpants weren’t revealing any “tent-pole” action.

  31. Okay, that is both creepy and hilarious. Wow. Just…wow.

  32. I have not laughed so hard at anything in a while so thank you. Also, I’m sorry you have creepy neighbors.

    One time, when I was living with my ex- our crazy next door neighbor shot her boyfriend or whatever he was in the hallway…where he was knocking on all the neighbors doors to get away from her. She only shot him in the leg, he was fine. I’m glad we didn’t open the door to see what all the noise was about.

    And one more thing- carry some sort of weapon, he sounds scary.

  33. I have never missed the evergreen lesbian more than I do this morning.

    That’s just wrong. On so many levels.

    The mom in me has to ask if you feel safe.

  34. What an utterly creepy neighbor! Fingers crossed he moves!

  35. Noelle, I found your blog through Stefanie’s blog, and this post just cracked me up, but also is a bit frightening. I hope things get better for you with your neighbors.

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