Overhearing Neighbors

September, Russian Hill
Inspired by a post of Nancy’s on Tall Glass of Vino about overhearing neighbors- she wants to knock on their door and say, “Yes, I too know why your relationship isn’t working out.” Mimickery being the best form of flattery, thought I’d riff on that too.

Grew up in a dense housing situation (DHS), and overheard a German neighbor bawling out her son constantly. He was a really cute guy a few years older that me so, yes, I was always a little eager to eavesdrop. Then he’d have these ragers on his back patio where he’d be chatting up some girl- actually just going on and on about his mother and what a tyrant she was. There was some drama about how he was toying with not going to the chosen ivy league just to piss her off. They ended up OK- I think she baited him with a visit to Germany.

Chinese couple behind our house- they had a really annoying fountain that trickled every day. At one point my mom and I realized it was to combat the buzzing power lines above, with feng shui. The woman would cry every night. Sad, long sobs. Had she left some family member in China or was it remembering the atrocities that happened there? Never knew.

In the Castro my studio apartment was above this couple (heterosexual). The girl would have long, long conversations with her mom while watering her plants, which were in a common air shaft with about 6 other apartments. I knew that she wanted to get married but her pot-smoking, patchouli oil-wearing trustifarian boyfriend was holding back. I knew they had sex about once a day. She wanted to move back to Chicago.

Same apartment, I’m playing solitaire on the computer while there’s a party going on in the building next to me across the air shaft. I’m idly listening to their conversation of two people smoking out a window, when one person says: “red jack on black queen!”