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The Terrorist Next Door

iStock_000010749468XSmallDo you know who lives next door to you?

I went with my friend to the nearby Cohen’s Optical so she could pick up the contact lenses she had ordered.  When the petite brunette who’d been helping us came back with the box, she hesitated, not wanting to intrude upon our conversation.  “Oh, sorry,” we called her over, “we were just discussing some of the people in our building.”

 “Really?” she was drawn into our orbit like a magnet. “You’re not gonna believe what happened at my building.”

“Try me,” I laughed figuring by now I’d heard it all.

“My next door neighbor thinks I’m a terrorist and says I’m stealing underwear from her dresser drawer,” she looked at me in earnest. “She won’t leave me alone.”

For a moment I was speechless. I mean accusing someone of being a terrorist was one thing, but I’d never before heard allegations of jihadist and underwear thief in the same sentence.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“She’s making my life miserable,” she didn’t really answer. “Why would I steal her underpants, she’s twice my size. I can’t believe this is happening.”

 “Maybe she’s just nuts.”

“She has it in for me, I tell you. I told the board, too, but they said there was nothing they could do. What do you mean, there’s nothing you can do, I said. I’m being harassed, but they just ignored me.”

“What about  —

“I told them I’m entitled to the quiet enjoyment of my premises,” she cut me off, clearly having done some legal homework.

“This is a new one on me,” I admitted.

“So finally me and my husband got a lawyer, and he went to court and got a restraining order, and it cost us three thousand dollars, but what good will it do? Sure she’s supposed to stay away but she lives right next door. And why would anyone want to go after me, anyway, I’m not a terrorist or an underwear burglar.”

Probably you aren’t either, but that doesn’t mean your fellow tribesman won’t say you are if he’s out to get you.  High Rise Society can be a jungle. There are always new ways for your neighbor to make your life difficult if he’s so disposed. That’s why it’s good to know who your neighbor is – preferably before you move in.


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