Weird Neighbors in Hollywood
People in Los Angeles have an odd relationship with their neighbors. They spend months or even years separated by only a few feet of drywall, yet since everyone is so self-absorbed, it’s rare to know much more about them than their names, and even those can be tough to remember.
By mere proximity, I was able to learn a lot about the neighbors in my first Hollywood apartment. Each were strange, colorful characters in their own ways.
Next door was a former Penthouse Pet who once dated Crispin Glover. She tried to compensate for being past her prime with multiple plastic surgeries and heavy Gothic makeup. After a year and a half of actively avoiding any interaction with me, she slid a note under my door offering to pay me $10 a month to siphon my internet. The next time I passed her in the hall way, she still didn’t say hello. She never got my wireless password.
Across the courtyard was an elderly, obese Hispanic woman who would lean out of her French doors and chain-smoke Marlboro reds all day. She greeted me every morning with an “hola” in a throaty gargle, and when I returned from work in the evening she was there again waiving hello with a lit cigarette. I don’t think she left the building once in the 3 years I lived there.
Every time I went to the dumpster to take out the trash, she would yell out “bottles!” She wanted my recyclables so she could make a profit, and actually had a nice racket going since she requested bottles from everyone in the building. At first, I would separate my bottles for her. Then, she got greedy.
She’d ask for bottles when I clearly had only garbage in my bags. The last straw came when she asked for the full water bottle I was still drinking out of after coming home from the gym. I told her no. Enough was enough. From then on I lied and said I had no bottles, making it a point to not give her anything that could net her 5 cents (7 cents in Michigan).
Across the hall was a couple who both worked at a hair salon and looked like they could be the Nihilists from The Big Lebowski. He was thin with jet black hair pulled back in a pony tail. She was pair shaped with platinum blonde hair, sloppy tits, and owned a bitchy chihuahua who was equally neurotic. He was affable enough to say hi, while she would give dirty looks to anyone she passed.
They drove a hearse, had a Halloween decoration above their door which read “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here,” as well as a HAZMAT-like sticker on the door with something about zombies.
They often had loud sex, which prompted me to make this reaction video one morning upon waking up to their moaning.
One evening, they had a domestic dispute and the police were called. I looked through my peep hole just in time to see the woman standing against the wall, handcuffed in nothing but her bra and panties. She was screaming at the officers and was nearly arrested.
They broke up soon after. He moved into another unit in the building and left her in the apartment next to me. She played a Danzig song on a loop all night, every night for a couple solid weeks. It took the police threatening arrest and the landlord threatening eviction for her to finally stop. She filled the silence with screaming fits at random times throughout the day. I moved out soon after.
Sometimes, when I drive by my old apartment building, I see that hearse parked outside and wonder how they’re all doing. Did the Penthouse Pet ever get the internet? Did the hairstyling nihilist couple reconcile? Did the old lady die of lung cancer? Then I snap out of it and realize I don’t care because they’re all assholes.