Stuff I will miss (yup, I'm moving away):
1. Goodbye, downstairs neighbors. Thank you for waking me up at 2 am with your subwoofer pumpin’ techno music. Even when I called to complain and you would turn the music off, I could still hear you laughing at each other in your drunken stupor. When your party would wind down, there’s nothing like climbing out your window onto the roof (which is right next to my window, by the way) and smoking a cigarette or two with all your buddies. I loved the way you would talk so loud that I could hear you and all about your personal life. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life now that I don’t know how many people Ashley slept with this week yet still won’t “give it up” for you, or how you personally keep up with the Kardashians, and how your self-worth is determined by your popularity on Facebook. Good luck with all of that.
2. Dear upstairs neighbor. I will miss calling the police for you on a regular basis when I can hear the domestic abuse. I only wish you would answer the door when they knock, because I feel bad for you. There are nights when I am woken up by sobbing and screaming when you’re all by yourself. I don’t want to sound heartless (because I really do feel bad for you), but during those nights I really wish you’d be quiet. It's kind of depressing, and I’ve tried to get some help to you, but you just don't take it. It makes me think that you’re hiding something else if you don’t want police to intercede. I don’t know the whole story, but often I’ve daydreamed of leaving an anonymous note at your door that simply reads “I can hear your conversations and beatings at 3 am. Just leave him already.” I guess things can’t be all that bad though, because I have also heard you on several occasions . . . ahem . . . getting intimate. Oh, the police have heard that too, FYI. It also sounded like you were frequently re-arranging your furniture at odd hours. Why?
3. Goodbye neighbors with tons of kids. I never was able to count how many there were, and I’m not sure that you know how many kids you have either. You guys were actually really nice; we had a few conversations. Because you were so nice it always made me sad to swear under my breath whenever your gigantic van was blocking the parking garage for no apparent reason. Or blocking the entire driveway. Or blocking my parking spot. Or the mail boxes. And during these instances, there was never any apparent order or purpose. You would be sitting in the van, and your kids would be running around almost as though you wanted them to be hit by oncoming traffic. Hoping for a good lawsuit, maybe? If we ever did actually see you driving that behemoth vehicle, your kids were rarely buckled and/or in car seats. I guess you are taking the “permissive” approach to parenthood. Your husband seems dead inside, but I think it’s just because he’s high every time I see him. Another thing I will miss is the very obvious marijuana smell trails that I can literally follow from the garage, all the way to your apartment. You’re not fooling anyone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a contact high before I’m safe in my own home. Thank you for that.
4. I will also miss other random smells of drugs that creep in through the vents. One very strong smell from downstairs neighbors (shout out to you again!) came at approximately 4 am. VERY strong, meth-like smell. It made me wonder how many times I just sleep through that. It might explain the headaches in the morning.
5. I will miss the smell of pee in the garage.
6. Goodbye, minors in the fitness room. I can personally thank your parents for that because they’re too lazy to be parents and mistook the fitness room for a daycare.
7. Dear shady people who wait near the locked doors of the complex to wait for someone to go in our out so that they can get in without a key. You will be missed.
8. I will miss sitting in the hot tub and watching someone from the street climb over the gate into the pool area. That hasn’t happened for a while, because I don’t sit in the hot tub anymore; one time it smelled like pee, and I haven’t gone back since.
9. Goodbye, front office. It will bring a tear to my eye every month when I don’t get an eviction notice on my door because you lost my rent check and think that I just didn’t pay. It was annoying the first three times, but after that I was just happy to see you every month. I love the way that your calm demeanor contrasted with the nasty eviction notice when you told me that everything was okay. No need to say you’re sorry, just look at me funny when I pretend to be upset about it and act like nothing happened. Good times.
10. I will miss the security guards who sit in their office and watch TV. Not security monitors, TV.
11. I will miss going into the garage in the morning and discovering a broken garage gate with only caution tape in front of it, locking my car inside until they finally decide that caution tape doesn’t actually mean it’s fixed. Meanwhile I’m scrounging up change to pay for public transportation (and that’s a whole other list). What serendipitous fun!
12. Speaking of scrounging, every Tuesday morning I will reminisce about the mornings when the dumpsters are out so they can be dumped, and seeing at least a dozen homeless people inside of them digging for bottles, cans, plastics, and possibly my personal information. They help remind me to shred credit card info, etc.
13. I will miss the blinding flash in my bedroom window of intersection cameras catching people running yellow lights.
14. I will miss seeing people drive right past the big yellow sign that says “No Outlet” down my driveway, and upon realizing, the hard way, that there is no outlet, they stop completely unaware of anyone around them and look in disbelief at the divider in front of them as if it will go away if they stare at it long enough. Meanwhile, they block my entrance into the garage. When I honk, it’s obvious that they were deep in their shallow thoughts as they jerk back to reality and in an effort to get out of my way they pull up next to the garage door as if I made the same mistake and just wanted a turn to try and disintegrate the divider with my mind too. Instead of honking again I just push the button that opens the garage door. When that giant metal gate swings open and threatens to hit their car, they move pretty quickly. I really will miss that part.
15. I will miss my bike (that was stolen out of the garage about 2 years ago). And my floor jack (a few months ago). And anything else I might leave in the “secure” garage unattended.
So, I really do miss Emeryville the city, and Oakland is kind of a shady place. But it sure is nice not having to share my walls. And I still see Emeryville often, because they have the best, closest shopping. Excuse me, I have to pee.