Bad Neighbour stories

by Susane

1. “Growing up in a rough neighborhood can be a mixed bag, as I’ve learned from other people who have had similar experiences. The people around you can fall into one of three categories: those who keep to themselves, those who are terrible neighbors, and those who are awesome and become your closest allies because in such an environment, you need all the help you can get.

In my case, my right-side neighbor was initially a ghost who eventually warmed up to us and became a cool person to be around. On the left side were my godparents. Across the street, however, was a family of meth addicts, and two doors down was a guy who sold and cooked meth. He had a whole network of users and sellers on our street, and almost every corner house was involved with him.

Despite his reputation, this man was actually pretty friendly and even went by the name “Tweaker Dan.” He had a makeshift auto-shop in his garage and worked on cars from dawn till midnight. Loud music, loud people, and loud arguments often punctuated his day. However, it wasn’t until later that I found out Dan was a major supplier of meth in the area, and controlled a significant part of the local supply chain.

Dan had a peculiar way of interacting with people in the neighborhood. He would wave to everyone who passed by, whether he knew them or not. As I grew older, I discovered that his waving was actually a form of communication. Dan was keeping an eye on who was coming and going. He wanted everyone to know that he was watching, as part of his arrangement with the gangs that he sold to.

Dan had rules and arrangements with anyone “affiliated” with him. He would sell to pretty much anyone, but if he dealt with you, you had to keep your shit out of his neighborhood. This was his way of keeping the neighborhood from getting worse as the rest of the city deteriorated.

People who were not involved with Dan’s business didn’t know about these arrangements. They only knew about his erratic and peculiar behavior, that he dealt drugs, and that he used them. However, some clean houses in the neighborhood were friendly with him, and it was surprising to see which ones. For a guy who had so much interaction with meth heads, he was also friends with the prison guard, the family who lived a few doors down, and even my godfather.

I asked my godfather about Dan after I found out the truth, and he admitted that he knew about Dan’s business, but didn’t feel like it was something that should be talked about. Dan was definitely one of the most interesting and complex neighbors I’ve ever had.” 

2. “I used to encounter a challenging situation with one of my neighbors who seemed to have a habit of throwing trash over their back fence into my yard. It became a regular occurrence, especially during the summer months. Whenever I would go out to my shed in the backyard, I would discover the most random and unpleasant items, like torn stuffed animals and used diapers. It was frustrating to deal with this constant stream of garbage, and I attempted to address it by throwing the trash back over the fence. However, my efforts seemed to be in vain as the trash would always find its way back into my yard, regardless of how much I tried to combat the problem.

Adding to the frustration, the teenage son of the neighbor would spend his days working on his car in the driveway, blaring music that echoed throughout the area. It added an extra layer of annoyance to the situation. Furthermore, they had a basketball hoop in their driveway at one point, which they eventually decided to remove. To my surprise, they disposed of the hoop and backboard in our front yard, attempting to conceal it as if we wouldn’t notice. Determined not to tolerate their thoughtless actions, I repeatedly pushed the hoop back into their yard, placing it against the same fence where they kept throwing trash. However, it mysteriously kept finding its way back into our yard, prolonging the ongoing battle.

Dealing with these circumstances was undoubtedly challenging, but it also presented an opportunity for me to find creative ways to address the issue and maintain a sense of resilience in the face of a difficult neighbor.”

3. “During the time before I got married, I resided in a townhouse-style apartment with a roommate. Our living arrangement involved sharing the space with another couple downstairs. Initially, the downstairs couple consisted of a guy and his roommate, but things changed when the guy’s girlfriend and their baby started spending a lot of time there. Eventually, the girlfriend and the baby moved in, along with an adorable yet prohibited terrier dog. As cute as the dog was, it became a nuisance as it would leave its waste all over the shared entrance, and the girlfriend never bothered to clean up after it.

As time went on, the roommate downstairs moved out, leaving just the couple, the dog, and the baby. Unfortunately, the thin walls of the apartment allowed us to hear their frequent shouting matches and the baby’s cries most nights. The girlfriend didn’t have a job, so she was home all day, and even the slightest noise like an accidental door slam or walking down the stairs too heavily would prompt her to come out and angrily accuse us of disturbing the baby’s sleep.

On the day we were moving out, while trying to manoeuvre the couch out to the truck, we accidentally bumped the wall, which led to the girlfriend storming out and screaming at all of us. Additionally, she had a habit of parking her vehicle in our assigned parking spots, causing inconvenience for us.

Despite the apartment being nice, I was relieved to leave primarily because of the situation with the couple downstairs. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the guy, as he had always been pleasant and seemed genuinely embarrassed by his girlfriend’s disruptive behaviour.”

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