my new neighbors are, for the most part, a mystery to me. but one, in particular, i have met. he’s the man next door, and he is a RIOT. my first instagram post about sheldon – that’s his name, don’t wear it out – was such a hit that i thought it might be fun to document my interactions with him as a series here.
if you’d like to read part 1, click here. this is part 2.
this morning, upon arrival to the grand apartment, i saw that the elevator was out. really?! i started climbing the stairs – all five flights of them. around floor four, i noticed that i could hear sheldon talking – presumably, to someone – about the inconvenience of a non-working elevator. another neighbor! i thought excitedly. i’ll get to meet another neighbor!
no such luck.
when i got to the fifth floor landing, i saw sheldon, alone, holding a small bag of laundry in his hands (interestingly, it appeared to hold just one item: a denim jacket that was shockingly similar to the one currently on his body).
“are you the elevator repair man?” he asked.
“no, i’m not. i see the elevator is out – have you called the super?”
“are you sarah?”
(he remembered! so the man has a good memory)
“i am sarah, yes. hi, sheldon.”
“you move in yet?”
“no, not yet.”
“probably about a month.”
“i didn’t go in there, you know, into your apartment. last time we talked, i know i said i wanted to go in, but i didn’t go in.”
“that’s good, sheldon, because there are workmen in there.”
“no boyfriend, right?”
“no, sheldon, just me.”
“i know we can’t go out, you and me. i know that. but we can be friends, right? you and i can be friends? i just want someone to talk to.”
“yes, sheldon, we can be friends.”
“good, because i need a friend. see, my mom’s in the hospital, 6 weeks they got her in there, and no bed! so it’s just me, i’m sleeping in her room, but i’m all alone and i just need someone to talk to. so i can talk to you, right?”
“sure, you can talk to me.”
“we don’t have to go out – i know i’m too old for you. i’m 72! that’s old, right?”
(i did not answer this question, not directly, at least)
“but we can hang out, you and me. we can watch tv. i watched the dodgers game last night, you know? and the red sox got creamed by cleveland. you watch sports?”
“not really, no.”
“i had a dream about you, you know, you and me. we went to the movies! and then we sat together on the couch and we watched tv. maybe i can come over sometime, and we can watch tv.”
“we can be friends, sheldon.”
“my social worker is supposed to be at ten to nine, but the elevator is out. how will she get up here?!”
“i’m sure she can take the stairs, she’ll just take it slow. i’m sure the elevator will be fixed soon; maybe you can do your laundry later?”
“yes, i guess i can, yes. and we’ll be friends, yes?”
“because i live alone, and i need someone to talk to. and maybe you can come clean the apartment when the aide doesn’t show up. can you do that?”
“we’ll see, sheldon.”