I often wonder what my neighbors think of me. Am I the foreign guy who lives alone and compensates by listening to music constantly? Am I the gossip of the block, the mysterious bearded man that has no history? Or do they think nothing of me, choosing instead to expend their thoughts on their own lives? I ask this because I have developed strong background stories of the people that live around me, people who I have never met.
A younger woman lives alone in the apartment next to me. Our bedrooms share a wall, and we can both hear everything that goes on in each other’s rooms. Based on the events in her apartment, I originally hypothesized that I lived next to one of Barcelona’s women of the night. Over time, this theory fell apart as I consistently saw her with the same male companion, presumably her boyfriend.
My living room shares a wall with another building. For the first six months I lived here, I heard no activity coming from the adjacent building. I had quiet neighbors. Unfortunately for them, things have changed in the past few weeks. Huge verbal fights regularly break out with yelling which penetrates into my living room. The fights usually start with a younger woman yelling hysterically. It often sounds like she is yelling at herself or into a phone because I hear no response. However, her adversary just takes longer to get loud. The fights normally end with the slamming of a few doors, followed by loud weeping from the woman. Being that they live in another building, I’m not sure of the identity of my neighbors, the young childless couple on the verge of breakup.
In my bathroom, directly above my toilet is a vent which leads into the apartment above me. This apartment is occupied by a family with a teenage kid. Each time I go to the bathroom, I hear about their lives. Occasionally the mom is upset with the teen for staying out too late. Other times, the husband complains about work. Of all my neighbors, they are the most likely to have an opinion of me. At the least they have an opinion of my diet. My apologies to them.