The Ways In Which We Know Our Neighbors…

From the May 7th issue of Hoboken’s Progress:

A U-Haul van parked in front of my apartment building was the excitement of last Saturday morning. I wracked my brain to think of who could be moving out, and in between sips of coffee and scrambled eggs with my roommates, we came to the decision that it had to be the one neighbor who has really made himself known to us—the heavy walker.

It’s quite odd that we live in such close quarters with people that we essentially know nothing about. In my building, where there are only three floors, in which each floor has one apartment, there are probably no more than nine people living in this building, and yet, if my neighbors were to stand in a line-up, I would have no idea how to identify them, unless of course, they had to run up and down a flight of stairs. Then I’d most likely be able to identify at least one neighbor—soon enough to be an ex-neighbor.

Perhaps my neighbor aspired to be an extra in STOMP, and carried out his trash this way...

If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, you’ve probably experienced hearing the unfortunate sound of someone who experiences gravity with a bit more pull than push than other human beings. It’s a heavy burden to bear, and it’s even worse for those who live under them.

Ever since I moved into this apartment, back in August 2008, as I’ve mentioned in this column many times, I’ve had to get use to a few certain eccentricities around the apartment: the rattling pipes that sound like Woody the Woodpecker, early morning showers void of hot water, and then some other odds and ends, like its donut shape, where walking back and forth between my closet and my room make me feel like I’m running for high school track.

But, I have also learned what it’s like to live with a heavy walker. I’ve also especially developed an closer relationship with him since one of my bedroom walls is on the other side of the stairwell. Like clockwork, I know when the heavy walker goes to work, gets home, goes to the gym, gets home, goes out, gets home, and well, pretty much every time he leaves and comes home, because I feel the need to “hit the deck!”

Not only is he a heavy walker, but he takes the stairs like he’s being timed during a relay race. There are no words to describe the sound and volume of this repetitive act.

It wasn’t until early evening that we figured it was the heavy-walker moving out, since all day Saturday we heard him, up and down the stairs, though each step was slower, due to the fact that he was carrying his possessions.

Dear heavy-walker, though I won’t miss hearing your daily schedule, I wish you the best.


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