Except there is one problem: a guy upstairs, this worthless little dopefiend named Mike, pays the rent on that lower apartment even though the tenant is gone. I think this is pretty weird. The other week, the apartment manager and the housing authority choice voucher lady had been coming by while I was at work, and they finally left a note to call them. I called the next day and they said they thought I had been avoiding them: apparently, whenever they knocked on the door, they could hear someone in my apartment, and instead of answering, they would turn up the stereo. Then I started to make sense of the footsteps I had been hearing at night—I had thought it was my upstairs neighbor, but they were closer, and a couple times I heard breathing. Then I found out that my upstairs neighbor was in Denver!
And after they told me this, that very night, I could hear it again: footsteps on the landing below my bedroom, and heavy, strained breathing and grunting that you might expect from someone on resperdal, or some other anti-psychotic. And the next night, I saw Mike in the hall and he had that same breathing. So he had been coming in through the lower apartment—the one he pays rent on—and hanging out in my apartment in the daytime. Then, apparently, visiting at night and getting so far then turning around, as though he thought better of it. After that, I boarded up the back door to the storeroom, so now only I can use it. The maintenance guy screwed the suitcase closet door on the 3rd floor shut all the way round; and I had a locksmith come and install a new double-core lock on the alley door—and I’m the only one with the key.