There are things that I'll miss about my apartment. Riding my bike around City Park in the early evenings, studying the birds. The way the moon drifted across the eastern set of windows like a lunar clock tracking the progress of the night. Then again, there are things I won't miss. The eternally leaky bathtub faucet. The sweltering heat in the summer. The prostitute getting beaten up on the front lawn.
That was a weird one.
For some strange reason, I had chosen to stay in on a Saturday night, and was asleep when the sound of screaming woke me. Away to the window I flew in a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash; the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of mid-day to the crack-whore beaten below. It was one of those eerie moments where you're barely cogent, and everything you see takes on a dream-like quality. In my somnolent state, I must have stared at the scene -- a tangled web of burly white dude and black prostitute limbs on my walkway -- for at least a minute before I realized, "Holy Elway! That man is beating that woman senseless! That ain't right." I picked up my cell phone and called 911, then quickly rifled through my closet for a baseball bat. In my disoriented state, I was absolutely convinced that the man on top of the prostitute was a meth addict who somehow knew I'd called the cops and would soon burst into the apartment building, rip my front door from its hinges and devour my organs for fuel. Then a neighbor, awakened by the same ruckus, yelled something to the effect of "Hey, what's going on out there?" and the man hopped in his truck and left, while the prostitute stumbled back Colfax way. The cops came seventeen minutes later -- I timed them -- and we had a pleasant conversation during which they drilled me about what, exactly, I thought I'd seen on the front lawn, and I drilled them about why, exactly, it had taken them so long to arrive.
Civic relations were strained.
Yes, we've shared some times, me and that apartment. Like when the salty clam downstairs flipped out on me.
I'm not ashamed to report to you that I had a young lady over at the time. It was late, after bars had closed, and said lass and I were seated on my couch, sipping beers and listening to music, when suddenly my front door was thunder-fucked by the meaty fists of an obviously irate visitor. I opened the door to find the mousy, middle-aged tenant from the floor below in her pajamas, shaking with rage.
"It's 2:30 in the fucking morning and you're blasting this fucking music right now?!"
Her attack was puzzling. Though there are some who might find the technique effective, generally when I'm trying to woo a lovely lady in the wee hours of the night, I don't blast Pantera. Instead, I put on some appropriately maudlin, white-boy indie rock, at a low volume, so that the girl and I may discourse in hushed tones, and then I do my best not to impregnate her. And besides, on numerous occasions, I'd had a swarthy posse of high school friends over until four in the morning making far more noise, often free-flowing at top volumes like the public school graduates we are. So this woman really had no platform. Yet she continued to scream, making much more racket than I ever had that evening. I tried to reason with her, tried to tell her I would turn the music down, but she was having none of it. Events in her life had transpired in such a way that at this very moment she was meant to explode, and there was not a thing I could do. So I said this:
"Calm the fuck down."
And then I slammed the door in her face.
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The next morning there was a sheepish note slipped under the door, in which Menopause the Musical apologized for her behavior, but explained that living beneath me she could hear everything I did, from kicking a soccer ball around to playing the guitar to playing CDs. To everything. So I slipped a note under her door that said, "It's not my fault I live on the second floor," and made sure to masturbate extra loudly that night. She moved out two months later.
I've been in that apartment for blizzards and heat waves, the World Cup and NBA playoffs. It's hosted glorious pre-game sessions and seen countless beers consumed in the company of good friends. As for the virtual flea market of women who've shuffled their way through those doors, brother, let me tell you! In a way, I love each and every one of them. But in a more accurate way, I hate almost all of them.
But alas, apartment, it is time for me to be moving on. I am purchasing a house in this fine city of Denver, and our paths are rapidly diverging. But know that you will be missed, apartment. Even though you got me so many street-sweeping tickets because you lack a garage. And even though I had to park so far away when all those fucking Jazz in the Park yuppies parked their zinfandel-and-lawn-chair-toting SUVs on my block. Because those quirks are what made you what you are, apartment. And I hope your next tenant appreciates them as much as I did.