Dressed In Neighborly Spirit

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 31, 2018

After living in the same suburban city in Georgia for over 25 years, I find myself relocating to Miami, Florida, for my husband’s new job. We don’t have much time to look for a place to live, so we choose an affordable apartment close to his job.

We move into a second-floor apartment in a six-story building, knowing nothing about the neighborhood. Shortly after moving in I hear the fire alarm. I go outside to discover smoke pouring from one of the sixth-floor apartments. One of the neighbors is a teenage girl, who is absolutely hysterical. She accidentally started the fire when she forgot about a pot of food she had left on the stove. She panicked and ran out of the apartment, forgetting that her father was still inside napping.

As some of the neighbors are trying to calm the girl, the father, who is a very tall, very large man, emerges from the building, a bit dazed, but unharmed. Unfortunately, he is still wearing the clothes he was napping in: a t-shirt and boxer shorts.

While my neighbors and I are waiting for the fire department to tend to the fire — the apartment is a complete loss — my next-door neighbor, who is also a very tall, very large man, comes home. He speaks to his wife, who fills him in on the situation. My next-door neighbor sees the sixth-floor dad, and then goes to his car and retrieves several shopping bags from a clothing store. He hands him the shopping bags, saying, “Here. These are for you.”

The sixth-floor dad protests that he can’t take his new clothes. The next door neighbour makes the obvious statement that he needs them more right now.

And that is how I learned what kind of neighbors I had.

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