Living in an apartment is somewhat like living in a hive. While you may have your own private little compartment, it shares walls, ceiling, and floor with the other compartments in the building, giving you a cozy window into the lives of your neighbors. You have access to all sorts of personal information about them. When do they go to the bathroom? Take a shower? Make love?
What kind of music do they listen to? Are they sports fans? Do they have pets? Children? Oh, yes, you know all the answers to those questions and a whole host of others. You know what time they leave for work, when they come home, how often they have guests, when they do laundry, and go shopping.
If the police have occasion to visit the building, you know all about it. If someone requires an ambulance, you will be a silent witness to their trauma...unless you're the one that needs medical care. If someone burns the dinner, they'll never be able to hide that. And the pizza, chinese, and UPS guys are familiar visitors.
But there are advantages to living in the hive. If you need a helping hand, you can usually find someone around. If you have an emergency, your neighbors know more about your medical issues and medications than your family. If your car dies, it's very likely that someone is going your way or will be happy to pick up that gallon of milk or loaf of bread.
There are rules of course, to successful living in the hive. 1) No loud music. I don't care whether you listen to Boy George or George Strait as long as I don't have to listen to it with you. 2) It won't kill you to smile. You don't have to be my best buddy, but when we pass on the stairs, say hello. 3) Don't knock on my door before eight o'clock in the morning or after nine o'clock in the evening unless it involves a lot of blood or a fire extinguisher. 4) Don't send your child to my apartment to visit me so that you can have a quickie with the cable guy. That does not constitute an emergency in my book. 5) Don't leave your dog on the balcony without water when it's ninety degrees outside. I will call the police. 6) Writing is a profession. When I am writing, I am working. Do not assume that I have nothing to do.
Oh, yeah. One other thing. If you're not going to take that medication that keeps you sane? Make sure you put on clothes before you answer the door. I don't know how long it's going to take me to recover from that.
Don't forget that tomorrow is the Monday Interview and Mini-Review. My guest author is Anh Leod and the book is Lucky Number Seven!