Anyway, it didn't happen again until last month, when the yelling and banging happened on and off for 4 nights in a row. By Friday, still not knowing exactly who was yelling (but assuming that it must have been one of the two men on the 2nd floor), I called the cops and the landlord. The yeller said some interesting things. Like his full name, "William C. Francis". And that he was not "a crack dealer" but "a crack user". Sprinkled in between the "fucks" and the "motherfuckers" I came to understand that William was locked out of his apartment. He seemed to think that someone had locked him out, but given his state of mind who's to say if that's true? I called Jane, who managed to never be home when the yelling happened. I asked her if there was a neighbor named William C. Francis. She didn't know the names of the two men who live on the second floor but she did mention that the one above her was a former crackhead.
Kareem came into the city that night, and not knowing who was in my hallway making this violent-sounding ruckus, I was scared to go downstairs to let Kareem into the building. While I was on the phone with Kareem, working up the courage to pass the screaming madman in my hallways, the screaming madman was leaving the building and let in Kareem. Kareem passed him and being friendly, asked him how his day was, William said, "I've had better days". Kareem and I muted the tv to hear what else he was going to say when he came back, because in the safety of my apartment, William's ranting was kind of humorous and amusing. And later that night we heard a drill. The next morning, we came downstairs to find that William "I'm not a crack dealer, I'm a crack user" took the locks and knobs off his apartment door.
Over the weekend, I got the full story from Jane, who has the landlords' personal numbers. They are currently in the middle of eviction proceedings to remove William at the behest of my jackass of a downstairs neighbor who is being "terrorized" by him. I certainly don't feel for that miserable motherfucker in 2B and am certain that he probably provoked the crackhead (this is the man who called the landlord on me because he heard too much walking going on in my apartment). I'm also a little pleased that, sharing a floor with William, he gets the brunt of the ruckus (and a recent string of nonsensical letters left on his door). I only wish that the downstairs neighbor were going to be leaving the building as well. Jane is already trying recruit another friend to take the crackhead's apartment. She's gentrifying the building, if not the neighborhood, and if she installs one more friend in our building of 6 apartments it's going to start to feel like a college dorm.
Being that my entries are typed incrementally over the course of time, I now found out that William has been arrested. For what (noisiness perhaps?), I don't know. And I do really feel bad for this guy, especially since building gossip has given me a glimpse of his life story. I know that he was/is? part of a employment/life assistant program for people living in poverty, he's HIV positive, and has a substance abuse problem. I don't believe he's currently employed, and he is a court order away from homelessness. Perhaps he's in one of those houses for homeless programs and they'll get him another home and not mandate that he be sober or mentally healthy before hand. I hope so. It's too cold right now to be homeless. He has a cat. After he took the knobs off his door, I saw it the hallway a few times, I'm not sure if it gets fed since it has tried to dash into my apartment a few times. But it's cute and sweet and I wonder if I shouldn't have kidnapped the thing when I had a chance, just to make sure it had a decent home to live in.
The knobs are back on his door. I saw papers folded up and wedged between the door frame and door knob. Eviction notice, maybe? I feel sad for him, he probably hasn't had many breaks of advantages in his life, and now it's falling completely apart.