Wednesday, January 11, 2006

There goes the neighborhood

I realize I’ve been conspicuously absent lately, but it really couldn’t be helped. I’ve been too busy calling the cops and chasing away hookers to do anything else.

For example, the other day I was at home writing a post about the two female teachers arrested recently for having improper relationships with a student, when I was interrupted by an argument next door. A woman was telling a man how worthless he is, and he was pleading with her to remain quiet. Pepper that with a liberal amount of the F-word, and you’ll get the picture. I finally became alarmed when I heard what sounded like a person being thrown against the wall, so I knocked on the door and informed the couple that I was preparing to call the police. They apologized and promised to settle down. After a few more minutes of shouting and a whole slew of curse words, they finally quieted down.

The thing that disturbed me most was that I knew the couple did not live there. An older man lives alone in the apartment next to my house. But lately I had been seeing this rather scraggily looking couple hanging around. The day before the woman was in the front yard sorting through a bag of aluminum cans I was pretty sure she had just dug out of the trash. I try not to judge people by their appearance, but I was really starting to think that these are the people I normally see eating out of the dumpster in the alley. Needless to say, I was alarmed.

My neighbor, Chester, thanked me for stopping the fight between his guests and told me rather apologetically that they were just drunk on Gin. That didn’t really make me feel any better, but I let it go.

So last night, I was in my office blogging away about the kids who were arrested for killing that dude in the Plaza, when I heard a familiar raspy voice unloading a stream of obscenity. I tried to ignore the noise, while at the time keeping an ear out for any sign of physical violence, when all of the sudden my door bell rang. It was my neighbor Chester. He asked me to call the police because the woman was doing drugs and he didn’t want that in his place. About that time the woman joined Chester on my front porch, shared her doubts about his masculinity, then stormed back inside his apartment. I told Chester not to worry. Forty-five minutes later the police arrived and escorted the woman away.

Chester returned to my house to offer another apology, and I invited him inside to explain what the heck was going on. Turns out Chester is an ex-con who likes to hang out at Central Park and socialize with the people who live there. He recently ran into this woman, who he knew before he got locked up, back in the days when she was a prostitute. He agreed to allow the woman to stay with him for while, not realizing that it also meant she was going to bring her “boyfriend” along. Apparently he also did not know she had a thing for heroin. Once she moved in she decided she liked it better than the park and decided to take over.

Had the police not removed her, that woman would have literally squatted right next door to me.