The neighbor is a tiny, balding, wizened brown man, probably in his early 60s. He works for the city, is apparently a lawyer, and chuckles constantly and maniacally, which has the odd effect of making me want to punch him until he stops making any noise at all.
Because I was once president of the condo board, there are people who seem to think this makes me their mom in perpetuity. This man in particular seems to think that any time he meets me is an opportunity to make some comment/complaint about things that bother him, all the while chuckling for no reason I can see. That my existence is not given over to listening to his petty complaints seems never to cross his mind.
The current president, a friend, had told me that he'd given her an earful about the noise made by the masonry workers. Now, notices were sent out regularly well in advance of the work, and communication was excellent. This man pays attention to nothing, choosing to complain instead.
My heart sank as I saw that he saw me (I have been known to dash down the stairs and sprint up the street in work clothes just to avoid this man before he sees me).
We said our hellos and proceeded down the steps.
"You know that work they are doing on the building," he began.
Here we go.
"Yep," I replied.
"It is very, VERY loud."
"Well, it's masonry work. Sure."
"There is such noise! It had my head rattled!"
[what I didn't say but so very much wanted to:] "Perhaps if you weren't such an old drunk you would not feel the need to sleep in until 10 on a weekend."
[instead] "Having the building fall down would be much louder."
"Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee."
"Hey! I have to stop here to pick some things up. Good to see you!" and I stepped into the local wine shop.
"Hello!" said the guy working. "Let me know if I can help you with anything."
"Actually, I'm just using you. I'm avoiding a neighbor. I'm going to hell, I know."
"No, I've been there. You hang out as long as you need to."
I looked into the sparkling wine case at a particular beverage, made in Michigan, called "Sex."
I pointed. "I was going to get that for a guy friend as a little suggestion. But he has a date tomorrow with a fitness instructor."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe it will go badly."
"Actually, I want it to go well. I want them to get along. I know he and I would not make a good couple at all, and this woman and he have things in common, so they'll have things to talk about. It's just..."
"It's just annoying."
"Yes, that's it exactly! It's annoying."
"Well, you can always get the bottle for yourself."
"Yeah, kind of tired of having Sex by myself."
Tonight was Kevin's date. I hope he had fun, I hope she wants to see him again, I hope he wore the shirt I suggested because he looks great in it. I know how tough it is to be rejected. He's socially awkward, and I'd like to see him be able to make a life with someone.
But it is indeed so. very. annoying.