I am lucky in life (concerning drunks) in that I’ve never had to deal with the truly psychopathic drunks. Rather, I get the slightly off-kilter, middle aged “I hate my life so I’m going to throw my trash out the window” type.
Enter our upstairs neighbor, who shall remain nameless but will undoubtedly live up to all of the stereotypes of being the fun-at-first, woah now, what happened type of drunk.
It all started about a year ago. He came home, hammered, saw me sitting on the front stoop, and immediately entered into his belligerent take on property rights.
“You gonna sit on my porch,” he asked. And I remained calm, reminded him that I lived underneath him, and asked him politely to sleep it off.
The next morning, our back porch was covered in toilet paper. I looked up, wondering how, when and why, and saw remnants of toilet paper hanging from his fire escape and window sill.
And I’ll admit: I thought it was funny.
Then the trash started falling from the skies on the weekends. And I’ll admit again, at first I thought it was funny. Accompanied by the shrill of the drunk’s screaming voice, proclaiming his name for the entire neighborhood to hear, asking the weary masses below if anyone was up to challenge him.
But at 1:30 in the morning on a Sunday, no one was up, and those that were didn’t care. So the next baffling step for said upstairs neighbor was to gather the trash scattered throughout his house, and throw it out his windows.
One night, that meant footlong sandwiches, potato chips and sliced tomatoes.
Last weekend, it meant pizza boxes, empty Chinese food containers and a Billboard magazine with Beyonce on the cover.
When I take a step back, I can laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. But in the heat of the moment, when pizza boxes were raining down onto my porch at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but wonder about the inner rage that drives this man’s drunkenness.
I gathered up the trash he had thrown out the window, put on a pair of pants, and walked it back up the stairs to his front door. The door was ajar, and I laid the trash on the floor.
In the morning, the trash was returned to the trash can in the front of the house. And the drunk hasn’t said a word about it since.