Just a reminder — for the April A to Z Challenge, my theme is “Blast to the Past.” I’ll be writing about things that have happened either with myself or someone in my family. Hopefully most of them will be at least somewhat amusing. For these posts, the past could go back as far as a week or 20 years. You’ll have to check in each day to find out.
For my first post, I’m going to go back about 13 years…
When I was 21, my then fiance and I got an apartment together. It was my senior year of college, and we planned to get married the following May because who doesn’t love the stress of a teaching internship, college classes, and planning a wedding, amirite?
That apartment complex was…not ideal. The apartment itself, which we viewed during the daytime (never, ever do this…always come back in the evening or on the weekend, if the office is open), seemed fine, plus it was very close to my school. It was pretty basic, but appeared clean and was pretty cheap. Some of the residents of the apartment complex, however, were not fine, as we quickly found out. I never really feared for my safety — and that may be because I totally lack awareness in that area — but some shady shit happened.
It can be fun to have a fire going in the fire pit, right? If the weather is nice and cool, then it is relaxing to hang out around a fire with your friends. (As long you don’t have bad asthma and allergies, anyway, sigh.)
One evening we came home after dinner to see some people gathered around a fire, but it wasn’t the kind we were used to:
Yep, that is a motorcycle. These guys were hanging around watching it burn. I don’t know how it caught on fire or if someone set it on fire intentionally, but it was burning nonetheless. The guys nodded at us as we passed by, like it was a completely normal thing to be happening.
The burning of the motorcycle wasn’t the only time we saw some people gathered around a burning vehicle. On a different evening, we came home to see this:
See? Burning vehicles really weren’t out of the ordinary there. In the past 12 years since we moved, we haven’t seen anyone gathered around a burning vehicle again.
The common area, which was a cement pad in the middle of the complex, was a place for people to gather if they wanted to, I guess. There weren’t any picnic tables, basketball goals, or anything else one might expect to find in a common area, but it was there all the same. We saw people standing around on the pad quite often, but never hung out there ourselves.
One evening, I heard some noise outside and looked out to see the common area being used. Someone had a radio blasting and several young teens were practicing their dancing skills with broomsticks.
Just…why? Were the broomsticks substitutes for males? Were they supposed to be stripper poles? I had no idea, but quickly shut my door on that.
Shortly after moving into the apartment, we had a visit from angry neighbor. Apparently someone had thrown a treadmill over their balcony and it landed in their bit of backyard. We thought he was full of crap until we checked our balcony and saw that someone had indeed thrown out a treadmill.
(Drawing a treadmill is beyond what someone with my limited abilities can do, so use your imagination on this one.)
It wasn’t us (we were on the third and top floor), so it had to be the people on the second floor. Can you imagine that…hearing a crash in your backyard to see that someone had thrown a freaking piece of exercise equipment over? I couldn’t even then, and I can’t even now.
We laugh about these things now, but some of them were pretty off-putting at the time. At any rate, we learned a thing or two about apartment hunting for future reference. Also, we didn’t finish out our lease there and bought a house very soon after I graduated college.
Thanks for joining me on the first day of the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.