the guy next door is going to die soon. i am almost sure. he has this hacking cough i can hear even with the window closed, through the concrete wall. he’s gotten shakier, more strung out in the past few months. although i mean, to be fair, haven’t we all? but this is different. he’s slipping, tangibly, truly, before my eyes, and i can’t stop watching.
i can hear things drifting in the window and muffled through the wall, and i’m a bum masquerading as an artist so i’m around to hear them, and what else is there to do?
i hear an intimidating-sounding man shaking him down for money, him whimpering, sounding pathetic. i hear him on the phone, and i think at first he’s angry but then i hear “i’m hurt. you’re hurting me!” and i almost start crying right there, having a smoke by the window, listening.
he’s going to die soon and i should find out his name. i know enough about him now. i hear everything since we apparently are both the type of people who like our windows open. his acoustic renditions of classic rock hits have become an important part of the background noise in my life. lately the coughing too.
i’m just waiting.
it sounds horrible. but i will be sad. i am not a vulture circling for inspiration or some kind of story. this is none of my business.
it’s none of my business but i am involved; next door neighbour, drama voyeur, silent partner. when i hear the sirens i’ll go downstairs for a cigarette, watch. for closure.