Today, as I do at the first (or second day) of every month, I went around to pay the monthly bills. Internet/cable, utilities, phones, and rent.
Our living situation here has been rather good, insofar as my husband and I are no longer arguing all of the time (thanks to relationship counseling), our son’s settled into what we think might be his routine for the next few months, stuff at my mom’s job has eased up stress wise, I’ve got a sister back in my life who loves to spend time with us, and the neighbor has been reasonably quiet….
Except, the neighbor has been quiet, and pulling some really shady shit. A few weeks back, I was getting my son our of my car, and unloading groceries. My neighbor, who I have mentioned here in passing before, was out in the road, drunk off his arse, and hanging out with his fellow drunk off their arses friends. As I am picking my son up out of the car, my neighbor is walking towards my home, but does not leave the street. And he is shouting at me, taunting me to call the cops because “I got my music playing!”
I will note here now that I have in the past called the cops because of his music. Twice during the day time because quite frankly we could literally hear it 1 mile from his house with the car windows up. And it was very clear. No muffled bass on those speakers. And numerous times after 11PM, when the city sound ordinance kicks in. All of this started because last September, it was nearly 11PM, and I went across the street to respectfully ask him to please turn his music down, as I could hear it in my home with my windows closed, and it was shaking my house. It was so loud my son could not get to sleep, and it was actually causing him ear issues. He turned it down three notches, which at least stopped the shaking of my windows. But that is all it did. Ever since he has deliberately used his music every single day to antagonize me and my family.
A co-worker of my mother had a relative at one time who lived in this same house. She, too, had to deal with this neighbor’s behavior. The woman describes her residency as the worst period of her entire life. My mother’s co-worker has warned us of various and sundry things that this neighbor has done, and more recently has threatened to do.
As I have a nearly 1 year old child to think about, I must treat ALL statements regarding this neighbor as truth and fact (erring on the side of caution). The environment in this neighborhood has become so hostile that I cannot bear to live here any longer, and I will not subject my family and my son to the psychological abuse we have been suffering at this neighbor’s hands. And this new level of harassment was the final straw.
Today when I went to pay my rent, I asked to speak with our property manager. I told her that my family and I were strongly reconsidering renewing our lease come August, and that the only reason we were still in the house is because we have nowhere else we can go, and cannot afford to move again right now. Otherwise, we would already have been gone. She asked me to step into her office to discuss why we had come to this decision. I explained to her in great detail the harassment, the ongoing problems, and stated that now I no longer feel safe in my home, for fear that my neighbor is coming over onto my property at night and messing with my home. There is a lot more, that I will not go into detail about here. Some issues, we had believed had been resolved in past months because we had spoken with our property manager and the homeowner about various issues (our neighbor and his friends parking cars and other vehicles in our back yard, refusing to move them, and a few incidents of harassment prior to this new string of it) but apparently they were not resolved, only paused.
When I finished my detailed explanation, the property manager was red in the face with rage. She shouted “HELL NO!” and immediately got on the phone to the homeowner…. who also happens to run the rental company. When she got off the phone with him, she turned to me and she said as calmly as she could that her boss/the homeowner had warned him the last time that if this neighbor pulled this crap again, he was going to be evicted.
This is news to me, as I had thought my neighbor had owned his home, but apparently this was not the case. She then asked me if there was anything else, so I told her that if we did have to move, for the love of god never rent that property out to any single women, anyone with kids, anyone who didn’t like to “party” and for the love of all that was holy never rent that property out to white people. As a matter of fact, only rent it out to single black men. Period. She asked why, so I explained to her that the neighbor, and his friends, had made it very clear that if you were a woman, you would get harassed (verbally, and if what some of our neighbor’s friends had insinuated was correct, sexually as well), if you had children then they would call the police and lie to get their kids taken away, if you didn’t do drugs or party then you were the “wrong kind of black” and would be run off, and lastly that if you were white they would do everything they could to intimidate and fear-monger until you flee.
She took a note, told me if there was anything else, gave me her boss’s personal cell phone number and said that if they park in the yard again then to call the office and they will pay to have the cars towed. If it was after hours, then call her boss’s personal phone and again, he will pay to have the cars towed. She wished me a good day, and I left.
And all I went in there to do was pay my rent, let them know that we may not stick around past the lease, and to see if they had any other properties in any other neighborhood in our price range that might be opening up around that time. I had absolutely no intention of starting more drama and shit, but I guess that’s the way this cookie ended up crumbling.
Though, it does make me think on a proverb. Can’t remember who said it or taught it, but it states that if you wait by the river long enough then the corpses of your enemies will float on by. While I did not go out to seek my neighbor’s eviction and destruction, it seems that by trying to peacefully resolve the issue by seeking a home elsewhere, it started the dominoes to allow me to watch as he floats down the river.