Around 9 PM, another cop knocked on my door. My neighbor had finally returned home and found my note taped to her door. Her parents were there as well. The cops took my statement and information again and this time at least told me to keep the photos in case they found or find the guy so they can build a case against him. My neighbor also wanted copies of the photos so I sent them to her. Funny thing is, we’ve lived next door to each other for a year but until tonight I never even knew her name. Nothing brings people together like misfortune, I guess, but it’s nice that we’ve managed to turn this into an opportunity to get to know each other.
After getting off the bus, I turned the corner and started walking up the street towards my mom’s apartment building. Just after turning the corner, I saw the woman that lives next door to my mom. She stopped for some reason and turned around and when she saw me she threw up her hands and made a weird noise. She’s deaf and doesn’t speak, at least not intelligibly, so I went past her and kept going. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I just didn’t know what she wanted or if she was even attempting to communicate with me. She suddenly rushed past me and kept looking over her shoulders, making a ‘no no no’ gesture with her finger in front of her face while mumbling. She rushed off at full speed to the building where my mom’s apartment building is. Some of the people in my mom’s apartment building are disabled, so I didn’t think much of it.
I entered the lobby just in time to see the elevator door close. The door on the second elevator was opening though, so I got on and rode up to my mom’s floor. When I stepped out into the hallway I could hear her making a lot of noise. I looked, and my mom’s apartment door was open. She was gesturing wildly and making plenty of loud noises that neither my mom or I could understand. I walked down the hallway and when she saw me she got even more agitated. So, I stood there with my mom trying to figure out what her issue is.
Through a combination of hand gestures and her very strained attempt to say the word “following”, we finally concluded that she is freaking out because she thinks I’m always following her. The fact that there is only one way to get to my mom’s apartment from the bus stop, only one set of elevators and only one hallway that goes to my mom’s apartment, which is right next to hers, seems to have totally gone over her head. The fact that we’re bound to run into each other in those areas, seeing as how we’re typically going to be heading for that same floor and two adjacent doors in the hallway, well that seems to have gone over her head too. She’s outright convinced that I’m stalking her and that I’m out to get her.
I’d noticed previously that she would always rush into the elevator and close the door before I could get to it, or if I got in the elevator she would wait for another one rather than ride in the elevator car with me. I never really put it together, but the idea that I’m following her around intentionally is ludicrous. It never ceases to amaze me, the kind of fantasies people can create for themselves and live in. Of all of the women in the street, why would I choose to, as she seems to be implying, stalk a late 40s, overweight, deaf woman that lives next door to my mom? Besides the fact that I’m married, I’m really not interested in old disabled women. Even if I were a stalker, as she seems to think I am, well, it’s summer in NYC. There are plenty of better looking women to be following around.
I just hope that this woman doesn’t completely flip out, because there’s no way this will be the last time she’ll see me going in and out of the building.