Three years ago, I scored the perfect San Francisco apartment, blessed with big windows, shiny hardwood floors, and a rental price circa 1999. My neighbor Mari, an acquaintance at the time, made sure I got first dibs on it — the first of many wonderful things she's done for me. We live in apartments that share a wall and a view, and we enjoy the best parts of living alone and having a roommate. When I was laid off soon after moving in, I knocked on her door to announce the news and without hesitation, she ordered pizza, uncorked some wine, and popped in Love, Actually, one of our favorite movies. She was also there to pick me up from the emergency room a couple years later, and drive me back early in the morning when the meds clearly didn't work. With my family 3,000 miles away, I was grateful to have someone I could rely on and who had by this point become a great friend.
We'll often leave things for each other on our doors. From her: her mom's apple cake. From me: Bob's donuts, our local guilty pleasure. And we often end up, Seinfeld-Kramer-style, meeting in the hallway and engaging in endless conversation about random stuff that inevitably leads to a screenplay idea.
Next week, we leave for a month-long trip to Paris. We rented an apartment in the Latin Quarter, and we'll be living as real roommates for once. I haven't seen much of Mari this summer, which has been a terrible time of loss for her, and I've missed her. It will be interesting to take our show on the road, replacing our neighborhood bars and cafes with French ones and connecting with French friends of friends. I'm sure we'll still talk about random stuff, with the occasional belly laugh, and hopefully get started on one of those screenplays, maybe about two neighbors who travel to France.
Do you have a great neighbor? We'd love to hear your story below!
(Image: Painted Ladies, Alamo Square, San Francisco / Shutterstock)