Our neighbors downstairs used to be a bunch of nerds. They had a Pokemon poster on the wall and regularly held gatherings in which everyone sat around a card table playing Magic: The Gathering. Who knows, maybe it was even Pokemon. Once I told them I was shooting a fight scene and they immediately offered me the use of their weapon replicas. I turned down the sword but ended up using the ninja blades and the mace. So what I'm saying is, nerds. The residents consisted of a broad-shouldered Asian guy and a schulmpy white guy, both of whom often ventured outside with shorts and no shirt, a look that was no doubt more comfortable than it was flattering. Supposedly a pair of girlfriends also shared the apartment, but they were rarely seen.
After this followed a period in which the shades were always shut, but occasional glimpses through an open front door revealed a bunk bed in the living room. They seemed to be secretly housing extra residents in slave-ship-like living quarters, although I could never tell who the extra roommates were.
Later, the Asian guy seemed to disappear, and some roommates from the apartment in the back of the building (the one that now houses the Laundry Girl) moved into the apartment below. As far as I can tell, the schlumpy white guy is the only remaining resident from the nerdy days. At least one of the guys from the back apartment was one of the Magic: The Gathering guests.
But gradually the whole place has changed. First the bar showed up. Yes, they bought and built one of those stand-alone bars you get if you're a college student and really want people to know how much you like to party. It's super classy looking, and by classy I mean it's tacky and takes up half the room. They've since added a huge shelf full of liquor bottles behind it. They also started spending all their time hanging out on their balcony drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. An empty beer bottle packed with cigarette butts sits on their rickety balcony table, an attractive, ever-present monument to their enjoyment of alcohol and tobacco. I have no idea who lives there now, besides the schlumpy white guy, who has somehow managed to get even white-trashier, despite making unsightly shirtlessness his starting point. But there are somehow always three or four people to populate the balcony like Hank Hill and his friends.
They are there when we leave during the day. They are there when we return at night. It has been like this all year. Are they still in college? Have they graduated? Does anyone have a job? It is a mystery. What we do know is that vapid conversation can always be heard wafting up from the balcony below.
Whereas before we would occasionally find our bedtime disturbed by the sound of loud computer gaming below, we now are occasionally disturbed by loud, massive parties. Recently their chandelier bulbs have been replaced by green bulbs and huge bongs have appeared on the former Magic: The Gathering table.
I don't know what is actually going on, but I think it is only a matter of time before a passing glance through their blinds reveals a crack house and/or meth lab.