Every building has a cast of characters and mine is no different. Let me set the scene for you a little bit. I live in a very old school building that you have to get on a list to live in. It was built in the early 1900s and has a shit ton of units in it. Hundreds. It’s massive. It has a large, sprawling, well-manicured courtyard that almost every apartment has a window that looks over. The median age range is, I’d say people in their 50s and the community is referred to as a “NORC”, a naturally occurring retirement community because people move in and it’s nice enough that they mostly never leave, at least not by choice.
So that’s the scenario. Here are some of the characters who frequent the building’s courtyard and surrounding area.
Mr. Sneezes, well, sneezes. A lot. 5, 6, 7 times in a row. Sometimes more. I hear him in the morning while I’m having oatmeal. His sneeze is a booming loud sneeze that often breaks the sound barrier and leaves goosebumps on my neck. Is it TB? Is he allergic to the flowers but MUST sit beside them due to potent OCD? Does he just have a cold all the time? WTF IS UP WITH MR. SNEEZES?
The Cat Lady
Every borough, every village, every street, every building in NYC has a notorious cat lady or 10. They are everywhere, and this city seems especially furry with them. But our building happens to have a very special cat lady. She has personally made it her job to take care of the stray cat community in the building’s courtyard. No one pays her, I don’t even know if she knows where she is. But she feeds all the sad, mangy, feral cats and pets them, every day. Thank Goodness–every creature needs to be pet from time to time.
The Mom From The Goonies
The Mom from the Goonies is a nice enough and in fact, quite pleasant older lady. She just happens to have the same voice as the mom from the goonies and a more than passing resemblance to her. I can imagine her smacking someone in the head or driving a beat up Jeep Cherokee as I type this. She’s cool, and The Goonies is one of my favorite movies of all time. But still. Mom from the Goonies. All that she’s missing is the beret.
The Friendliest Marine In The World
He has tinnitus in one ear. He’s super nice, and he’s, like, the mayor of the building or something. I think he was a lawyer a long time ago, or he went to jail enough times to know a lot about the courts, but that’s doubtful, he seems too awesome. I adore him. He hugs and kisses me every time he sees me. He was once a marine. He is whip smart. He is as tall as a light post and always well-dressed in a button down shirt and khakis. Nary a day goes by when I don’t see him. I think he has a timeshare in Florida. He has one of the biggest, fanciest apartments in the complex, a 3 bedroom, I think. He seems to be able to make things happen with a word and a whisper. He’s the friendliest marine in the world.
Gosh, there are so many more wack-a-doo characters. I haven’t even gotten into the lady with the giant white dog, the lady with the tiny white dog, the weird security guard who reminds me of the lead singer of Fine Young Cannibals, the older Asian lady who is always smacking herself in the back, stomach and chest, (there are actually like 20-30 or so of that particular archetype), the Russian nanny who is always sleeping, the wormy management guy who my actual nickname for is “the worm” but upon further investigation of him, he’s not the worst guy ever, just wormy, and so on and so on.
I wonder how they’d describe me?
White Lady With A Baby Who’s Making All Our Rent Go Up
Every day, this corny white lady strolls outside pushing a giant carriage with her baby in it who is cute now but one look at him tells you he’s going to grow up and be a bruh or a pain in the ass. She always wears a big green hat like she’s on safari and giant sunglasses like she’s a celebrity or something but I’ve never seen her in anything except our courtyard. She and her husband always get a million Amazon boxes delivered. They are hiding from someone or are the most laziest people in the world. She and her husband also sometimes take the baby for walks together. The husband is tall and always dresses in black even when it’s 100 degrees out. Kinda weird folks, but at least they seem friendly.