When You Canâ€™t See the Forest for the Trees
I donâ€™t want to know why crazy people are crazy. I just want to know how they find apartments.
Thereâ€™s a woman who lives down the hall from me who is totally nuts. Every time I walk by her apartment, sheâ€™s screaming something. I used to think that she was just singing in another language, but then I stopped to listen one day. It was technically English, however garbled, and Iâ€™m not sure if I can still call it singing. There was a little singing to it, but not with any discernable melody. If I tried to play along, my guitar would be out of tune in three seconds.
Yesterday, I stopped long enough to hear her sing/yell, â€œThe treesâ€¦and the forestâ€¦with the paintâ€¦and the chairâ€¦for youâ€¦â€ Itâ€™s possible that sheâ€™s redecorating in a jungle motif and is just really, really into it. But more than likely, the woman is, well, a few trees short of a forest. Yet somehow, she is still living in a beautiful high rise in a fairly expensive part of town.
Lest you misunderstand me, I do not really live in a beautiful high rise in a fairly expensive part of town. I can not afford to, and thus am staying at my friendâ€™s place until this Sunday, when I move into my more permanent digs. Iâ€™ll be living in a house where my roommates thankfully do not sing about trees, chairs, and other such wooden items. Or at least as far as I know.
But this woman does live in a beautiful high rise in a fairly expensive part of town. And though Anna Nicole Smith seems to make a good living at it, I canâ€™t imagine being an utter nutcase is very lucrative.
I had a horrible time looking for an apartment. The house Iâ€™ll be living in is the 16th place I contacted. And while it seems like I will love it there, it was almost impossible to find, and I like to think of myself as someone with all of his plants intact.
â€œIf you could just fill out this lease agreement, weâ€™ll be underway.â€
â€œThe tigerâ€¦and the herdâ€¦with the curtainsâ€¦and the lampâ€¦for youâ€¦â€
â€œThank you maâ€™am. Here are your keys.â€
If someone is actually mentally ill, that is not something to laugh at. Usually. But this woman is not disabled; sheâ€™s obviously stable enough to have a wonderful apartment. Sheâ€™s just not stable enough to do it without singing to her furniture.
So I feel no remorse about making fun of her. And Iâ€™m not willing to believe that Iâ€™m the only one who does it. There must have been a tenant meeting sometime where she showed up and threw everyone off.
â€œWeâ€™re here to discuss the conditions of the parking garage.â€
â€œGarageâ€¦and the staplerâ€¦with the circusâ€¦and the cupboardâ€¦for youâ€¦â€
â€œWeâ€™re here to discuss the conditions of the parking garage and the crazy singing lady on the second floor.â€
The woman is entitled to have a place to live. But she is not entitled to have a place to live nicer than mine. Is there no housing Darwinism? Sure, I occasionally throw my garbage down the chute without tying the bag shut. And Iâ€™ll admit that I have removed someone elseâ€™s load of laundry from the dryer before it was completely dry (the time ran out, I swear). But I have never, ever, ever sang about upholstery or a large wooded area. That should count for something.
My new place has a lot of things that Iâ€™m looking forward to. Thereâ€™s a pool table. And a porch. And cool roommates (one of them is even named David Cone). So when I threw out my garbage today (the bag was tied, I swear), I stopped in front of her door for one last concert. Mainly to remind myself how much better off Iâ€™d be in my new place.
I didnâ€™t hear the woman, so Iâ€™m guessing she wasnâ€™t home. But I did hear the guy next door on a phone call.
â€œIâ€™ve got this crazy neighbor,â€ he said, as I began to nod knowingly. â€œEvery time I see him, heâ€™s just standing outside my other neighborâ€™s apartment.â€
Perhaps I should go pack.