Confronting the Nut
Ok here's a story. From years ago when I worked at a dotcom.
I think it was a Monday. I went into work around 10 and I threw my stuff down in my cube. I got all set up to do alot of nothing and drink some coffay when this girl came over to me and asked if I could help her. I knew this girl kinda sorta but we weren't all that close. She looked really upset like she really needed help. I said, 'Sure.' She said, 'Ok good. I need someone big. You better take your coat.' In my head I was like, 'We're going outside? And why does it matter that I'm 'big'?'
We head out of the building and down the street. She lived close to work and she tells me that we're going to her apartment. I was like... okay... She told me that she got threatened in her building this morning and that she called the cops and they were meeting her at the apartment. In the lobby of her building while waiting for the cops she told me the story.
Apparently the guy who lives directly downstairs from her is schizophrenic and in the past has accused her with stuff like, 'I know what you're up to!' and 'I know what goes on upstairs during the day!' and 'Stop what you're doing! I know what you're doing!' Stuff like that. Meanwhile, of course, she's not doing anything. She's at work during the day and she lives alone. No one is home during the day. Scary, right? Right.
But this particular morning while she was leaving for work he apparently grabbed her arm when he accused her of 'doing things to him'. So she got really scared and called the cops when she got to work- and they were on the way to her building. So there I was. Involved. One moment ready to chuck chillout in my aeron chair and drink coffay. The next I'm in a lobby of some building apparently waiting to confront a schizophrenic with some NYC cops.
Two cops show up and we all get into elevator and head upstairs. We go to his apartment (below hers) and the cops knock/pound on the door telling him to open up. This guy opens the door and I can see he's a hoarder. Piles of newspapers four feet high lined the hallway. Stuff was everywhere. He was a little guy wearing a wool hat, unshaved and he smelled. The apartment smelled. The cops started in with him. It was sorta like this:
Cop: We got a report that yer botherin this lady!
Guy: What?! Me?! I'm bothering her?! She's the one that's bothering me!
Cop #2: How does she bother you sir?
Guy: She knows. I pace in my apartment and I feel her upstairs following directly above me. If I go into the kitchen. She goes into her kitchen upstairs. I know she's following me! I go into my bedroom. She goes too. Right above me. And if I stop for a second that's when I get the 'ZAP!'
Cop #1: The "zap", sir?
Guy: She knows! She does it! She zaps me!
Girl: I'm not doing anything to you!
Cop #2: Maybe it's aliens, sir. Do you think it might be aliens zapping you?
Guy: (offended) No I don't think it's aliens. I'm telling you it's coming from upstairs.
Cop #1: Do you have scars or anything?
Guy: (frustrated) Of course I don't have scars! It's not like that!
Cop #2: Do you think maybe aliens live upstairs?
Guy: (points at her) She! She lives upstairs!
Girl: I'm not doing anything!
At this point I could see that the cops weren't really getting anywhere so I tried to step in and reason with the guy.
Me: Listen, I work with her. Everyday. She's at work with me. She's not home during the day. It can't possibly be her.
Cop #1: See? She's not even home!
Guy: Someone is home during the day! Someone is zapping me! I hear them! I feel them upstairs!
Girl: No one is in my apartment when I'm at work!
Me: Are you sure it's coming from upstairs?
Me: Could it be one of the other apartments upstairs from you? On another floor? Maybe going through her apartment or something?
This seemed to strike some weird logic chord cause I could see he thought about it.
Cop #2: Yeah! Yeah, maybe the aliens live upstairs on 7!
Guy: It's not aliens!!
Girl: All I know is it's not me!
Cop #1: Sir alls I can say is if we get one more complaint. If you talk to her or touch her one more time- we're going to haul you off to Bellevue. Understood?
Guy: I haven't done anything!
Cop #1: Sir! Do we understand each other? Because if we don't- I'm gonna take you to Bellevue today. Right now. Do we understand each other?
Guy: Yes I understand.
Cop #1: And you'll stay away from her...
Cop #2: Or we'll come back here and take you away. Right?
Guy: Right. I understand.
He seemed to understand but was distracted. As the guy went back in his apartment and closed the door I think he was looking up at the ceiling. Maybe thinking about the zapper being on the 7th floor. Or the 8th. Or the 9th. or 10th? Maybe? The possibility of the zapper being on another floor directly above maybe put a real complication in his logic and hopefully redirected things from directly upstairs. I really hope the zapping has stopped in any case. Anyway that was that.
Soon after the girl moved out of the apartment... and someone new moved right in.