I've lived in a third story apartment for some time, I have become unaccustomed to the ways of neighborhood living. The walls in our old apartment complex were very thick, and we could rarely hear what the other occupants were doing. We assumed that they, in turn, could not hear what we were doing, as we'd never received any complaints. We lived in our own little private bubble in the midst of many other little bubbles. It was bubble wrap living. It was nice, quite, but mildly inconvenient to climb three flights of stairs with two dogs/groceries/bubble neighbors hanging out on the stairs. We grew weary of bubble wrap life. We decided to pop out of our little bubble and move on.
Now we've moved into a duplex.
A duplex seemed a wise choice for us. There's the feeling of security I thought I would get from knowing that, though JMan will often be at work until 3:30 in the morning, there would be people on the other side on the wall of every room; people who would be more than happy to come to my immediate aide should any issues arise. There was also the increased sense of independence- I wouldn’t have people living on all side of me anymore, and that is okay. But should I need them, there are neighbors within earshot. Everybody wins. It's the safety of an apartment without all the stairs.
Having now lived in this new place for a couple of months, I'm finding that duplex life is not all that I thought it would be. The neighbors on the other side of every wall of every room don't seem to like us very much at all. They run into their side of the domicile any time we see them, trying desperately not to make eye contact. I feel fairly certain that, upon hearing my gruesome murder through their every wall, they would sigh, wait for the noise to stop, and go about their business. The neighbors in the surrounding homes can't stand us either, because our dogs think that the chain link fences that separate the properties do not exist or are somehow invalid. Therefore, all visible land belongs to the dogs. Consequently, when the occupants of these residences dare to just *be* in their own backyard, they are met with a barrage of barking, growling, huffing, and lunging. The whole thing probably seems very scary, even though Jman has told them all that if they'd just interact with the dogs they'll stop barking. I don't think, however, that "Frig you and your frigging dogs*" is what he had in mind, and as of now, that's all I've heard them say.
I've decided that duplex life is going to be my equivalent of thug life, only without the tattoos and strategically colored bandanas. I will learn from the experience, grow tougher and stronger, and will emerge from the cul de sac with all the grit and savvy of a genuine hustler**. Here, then, is:
CURRENT KIM vs. DUPLEX LIFE KIM
Current Kim: Hi there, neighbor-person! So nice to know that you're so near me. I'd like to get along with you and maybe we could do a joint bar-b-que some time! Hugs!
Duplex Life: I'ma bar-b-que your face, motha effer! Don't you step to me, son, cuz I’ll cut you so deep you’ll look like Siamese twins. Yeah, you better run!
CK: Hi there, neighbor who lives on the other side of the fence! I can see you clearly through the chain link and am smiling at you and being pleasant.
DL: Keep looking at me. I dare ya. I'ma turn this wine bottle into a molotov cocktail and shove it down your throat. Word.
CK: I'm so sorry about my dogs. They're little rascals, ain't they? Don't worry- they won't harm you. They're just curious baby pups.
DL: I'ma sick my dogs on your ass to retreive what's left of my wine bottle! I pity the fool who messes with my hounds of hell! Yo mama!!!***
*Frig = I'm jealous of your yard
**To be pronounced 'huss-lah, fool.
***Yes, I realize I got more than a bit blakploitation/racist/Mr. T ins there. Don't be hatin. That's how Duplex Kim rolls. Livin' Duplex K like e-va-ry day...