I’ve put a lot of thought and energy into deciding if I should or shouldn’t write about this, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I might as well. As some of you know, I have had an ongoing dramatic relationship with the tenant in the front apartment of the apartment building I live in.
It’s really not an apartment building. It’s a long ranch style house that has been converted into three apartment units. One in the front, which is the grumpy neighbor I will be talking about in some length today. One apartment is in the middle. This was recently rented out to a very sweet lesbian couple who just moved to Los Angeles from New York City, well Brooklyn to be specific. Then there is the back unit which is the unit I live in with my fiancé Blair.
From day one of moving into our apartment we started receiving harassing letters left on the windshield of my fiance’s car. We had accusations of car scratching that had nothing to do with us, no proof, no witnesses, or anything of value. We have been verbally accosted in our own driveway by this front neighbor as well. Let’s not forget that we rented the apartment with the agreement between us and our original landlord of having private use of the entire driveway.
Our driveway can fit about four cars in it. Three in the main area and then one side spot. I guess the previous tenant of my apartment allowed the front tenant to use the side spot in the driveway. Even though this tenant has found a loophole to barely pay anything in rent. He has now also steaked claim to this parking spot that was built into our lease. Thanks to West Hollywood Renters Rights he has claimed that since he has used the spot for more than a few months, at the permission of the previous tenant, we have no right to the spot even though it is in our lease.
After months of battling this out we caved on fighting over the spot. Our agreement is that we won’t bug the landlord or the front tenant about this extra spot if he just leaves us alone. That never really happened. When I have had to ask him to not have friends or handymen that the front neighbor calls over to park in our driveway, in our spots, he has refused. In fact, with the front tenant’s permission, I caught his ranting at me for 17 minutes in our driveway one night. Telling me he didn’t care if we owned the driveway, it’s a place for a car and his handyman needed a space so he let him use ours.
Normally I’m a nice guy, but when you’ve been rude to me since the first day I moved into an apartment, I don’t feel like I owe you anything. I especially don’t owe you kindness in the way of allowing your guests to block my parking spots.
Regardless, I’ve written this front tenant/neighbor off over the past year. It took a while, but I’ve tried to remind myself that some people are just cranky people. Some people live for drama. Some people are just bitter at life. They have their reasons, which I am not privy to, but maybe the best thing to do is to keep my distance from this neighbor and hope the landlord can figure out a resolution to the nightmarish situation we have with this neighbor. I just have to remind myself that he is a middle-aged, single bitter, sad man in my opinion and that space is what is best.
I’ve kept my distance for a couple months. I haven’t tried to even pass his line of sight in the past couple of months. If I am walking the dogs and I can tell his door is open I try to rush by as to not be seen.
That is, until this past Sunday. This past Sunday was fathers day. It’s typically a day to celebrate the great men in our lives who have helped shape us. It’s also a day for men to look at the families they raise and the families they love. With that in mind, I guess it’s also a day for single middle aged men to take a long hard look at their lives.
As I was walking my two dogs past his apartment Sunday I couldn’t control myself. I laughed out loud. Blasting at full emotional volume was All By Myself by Celine Dion. I couldn’t hold it together! It was so sad and real. That moment you wish you could go hug someone and say, “if you just treated people nicely you may not be alone.”
The new tenants in the middle apartment are fast becoming friends of ours. They’ve already spent a few nights hanging out at our place drinking beer and getting to know each other. He could be apart of this neighborhood feel if he just opened up his heart, lowered his stress and focused on building positive relationships with people that you have no choice but to interact with.
None-the-less, it definitely was a nice moment on my Sunday morning! Happy Father’s Day indeed!
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