Apr 4, 2006

Lunatic Fringe

For the last week or so, I have noticed that my mentally ill neighbor has been standing out in the median of a nearby busy intersection with a handmade sign that reads: Impeach Bush Now! She starts this pointless ritual about 7:30 AM and I've noticed her packing it in about 2:30 PM. When it is raining, she is out there with an umbrella. When her sign wilts, she makes a new one the next day. I haven't been able to get a picture of her holding the sign - frankly, I would not want to risk being caught - but that's a shot of the sign in the back of her car.
Last week, our new apartment management company placed a letter on each door stating that the maintenance man would be coming to inspect the apartments for A/C filters, fire alarms, etc... The day that they did the inspections, I found the letter shown above on my neighbor's door. It reads:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: No one is to enter this apartment without the Expressed verbal and physical presence of (insert her name here). Violators who enter will not like what's on the other side. Return time is this morning or mid noon. Adhere to these rules and you will be fine.

I have both a morbid curiosity and a fear of what exactly she is threatening. It never occurred to me before that she might actually be holed up in her apartment armed and waiting for an interloper, but that possibility doesn't seem unrealistic given her cryptic threat. Today I had the pleasure of hearing her scream at the yard workers who were using a gas blower to clean the courtyard. She chased three men out of the courtyard while screaming, "Get out God damn you! DON'T you DARE come back in here!" She screamed obscenities at them, and believe me - they ran like hell to get away from her. I think I am starting to smell ink in her future...the wet ink on a freshly written eviction notice.

Oddly enough, I had trouble sleeping the other night and woke about 3:00 AM to the sound of a trash truck picking up trash. An hour or so later, I woke again. This time it was the incoherent ranting of a mentally ill man (apparently unrelated to my neighbor) who was wandering up and down the street. He stopped in front of my apartment building, and I couldn't help but wonder if he was picking up on the vibrations that surely must emanate from my insane neighbor. It occurred to me that they could be kindred spirits. I almost expected to see him howling up at the moon as he searched forlornly for his mate, who is no doubt sleeping fitfully three doors down from me. I watched him out of my window until he wandered out of site still bellowing random nothings into the night, then I went back to bed. As soon as I was about to nod off, I heard him coming back up the street, so I got up and watched him until he meandered back in the other direction. On the same morning that I saw my neighbor tilting at windmills in the median, I also saw the ranting man - he only made it about two blocks up the road over the course of 4 hours. Very disheartening.

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