I live in a small apartment in Waterloo. I won’t go into detail because it’s irrelevant.
When I pulled into my apartment parking lot, there were cops, paramedics and an ambulance. That’s never a good sign. I did a quick scan—Jess’ car was in his spot, the paramedics weren’t outside our apartment, no fire trucks. OK.
I took my groceries up to the apartment (in one trip, of course) as the paramedics and cops gawk at me. I had sunglasses on, so I was also able to gawk back, trying to figure out what was going on.
When I walked into my apartment, my first thought was, “Man, it stinks. Jess must not have taken out the garbage again.” Boy, was I wrong.
Before I could shut the door, one of the paramedics called me back outside, “Ma’am,” he said, which makes me old soooo old—like 26. Before he could say anything to me, Jess came to my side. The paramedic had already talked to Jessie, but he still asked me when I last saw the upstairs neighbor. “Never,” I replied. “I’ve never seen the guy who lives upstairs. He’s only been here like a month.”
“Oh, OK. We were just checking in on him,” said the paramedic. And left me confused as hell.
So I walk in the apartment, close the door, give it a couple seconds, then ask Jess what on Earth happened.
“Oh, the guy upstairs died,” he said.
What!? Died? Like is no longer living? Yup. Dead.
The smell. I notice the smell again. Ah, man. I realize my apartment smells like dead, rotting human body—and has for a few days. Apparently it wasn’t garbage we were smelling last night. Awesome. Home sweet home.
I’m pretty much in shock. I didn’t know the guy, but knowing that there’s been a dead guy upstairs is just plain creepy. We don’t know how long he was there, but the cop said Saturday was the last time he’d been seen. Awesome. That’s like 5 full days.
As Jess recalled everything he remembered, he reminded me that Sunday or Monday night we heard weird noises coming from upstairs—right above Jess’ computer. I thought it was some sort of computer or electronic hum; Jess thought it was snoring. We were both wrong. Apparently on Sunday or Monday night, we heard the man upstairs dying.
And guess where the noises were. You’ll never get it, so I’ll tell you—right above Jess’ computer. Yea, there’s been a dead body above Jessie for days. The cops confirmed that that’s where the body was found. Blerg.
So now we’re sitting in a stinky apartment with an empty unit upstairs (the paramedics finally drove away). I’m totally creeped out, but it made for a good story. I feel bad for the guy—that he died up there alone, not to be found for days. I don’t know how old he was or anything. Like I said, I’d never seen him.
My curiosity will lead me to search obituaries for the next few weeks to see if I can learn a little something about my no-longer-neighbor-guy.
But right now, I need to go spray some air freshener.