When I first moved into my new apartment, the window right next to the front entrance was always shaded by a thin, brightly colored sheet that reminded me of New Age-shop aesthetics. I never saw anyone enter or leave. Come to think of it, I rarely see anyone in the building, but I hear their animals and footsteps, smell their cooking, am inconvenienced by their cars, see their lights. Whoever lived in that apartment right next to the entrance, though, I never saw.
One day, the sheet was gone and I could see inside. I'm certain I wasn't the only tenant to stop and stare. The bed was right up against the window, a bare mattress covered in wrappers, empty Coke and vodka bottles, rolls of duct tape, other junk. The next day, the new cleaning crew came through. Word through the grapevine was that the tenants sisters had come by one day and conducted an intervention. The cleaners said that his room was filled with books in half a dozen languages, that he had been a student and succumbed to something bad enough that loved ones had to step in.
The cleaners let me in to have a look after they'd removed all of the tenants personal possessions and were getting down to the wood and dirt. It was a cozy place. There was a fireplace, two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen that hadn't been renovated since the 1920s.
Hey, take a look at this, one of the guys said. He walked to the far end of the room and opened the second front door, leading to the other half of the building. All the other apartments only have one door. There are a lot of odd things about the way the place is built, he said. Maybe it was used by the mob back in the 20s.
When I started writing this, it seemed like a story. A story happened, no doubt, but I wasn't a witness. So much goes on and we only get a fraction of it. In conclusion, I suppose, I hope the tenant is better off now.