Ever since the 'Gift' and I have been hanging tough, I have a new 'weekend spot'. I put it in quotation marks because my visits/stays have consistently exceeded what one would consider an actual weekend. At first I referred to his place as the Weekender, now it's more like my second home. I go to my actual home every few days to restock my clothes for the Weekender. On Friday I stopped to pick up some things. On the door at the front entrance of my building was a handwritten note with memorial service arrangements for one of my neighbors. This particular neighbor is not necessarily young, but I still felt the need to double check to make sure I was thinking of the right person. I have another neighbor who will be turning at least 95 years old next month; my mind kept thinking it was her.
On another neighbor's door across the hall from the deceased was a note giving him the memorial service details and asking if he would like to be a pallbearer. What was weird about that request is that he has not been in the building longer than about 6-8 months at the most. That made me sad. Then I felt like I missed something. I know I could not have stopped her from dying, but I still feel like I have been away too long. I liked that neighbor. I have never been in her apartment, or chatted with her beyond just basic pleasantries, but I liked her. She would speak to me with her body blocking her doorway; I could never see inside. But she never got in my business. When I had a slight flood in my apartment, she left a note on my door warning me not to turn the lights on for fear of electrocution. I remember her walking up and down the hallway stairs as a form of exercise after most of the building was out to work. Once I was awakened early in the morning by my apartment buzzer being pushed frantically; she yelled, in a panic and inaudibly through the intercom, "Fire! Fire!" Another neighbor, who is no longer in the building (thank goodness), had set her apartment on fire in a drunken and/or drugged stupor for the second or third time.
Most people these days don't even know their neighbors; I'm guilty of that myself. So it really saddens me that one of the good, old school neighbors, has literally, left the building.