Tarzan of the Apes

sayarsan's picture

The resident in No.4 has been something of a nuisance since it arrived and it seems that everybody here is more than ready to give up on waiting until it adjusts to having a home. The complex was built with money from the Rudd Labor government as a way to shorten the Housing Commission waiting lists in the States without placing new strain on their bureaucracies and is managed by a company (BRIC) that formed out of the amalgamation of several housing co-operatives that had allready existed for some years. The initial impression i had was that the complex is cheaply constructed and fitted and the project as a whole (BRIC has quite a few complexes) wasn't too well thought out although i'm sure the managers have a huge body of experience to draw on from Australia and overseas. Tenants move in with little or no idea of what to expect and it shows but after a couple of years it is clearly evident how people adapt to their surroundings and this in itself is interesting to watch. The people i talk to all recount how their expectations and their behaviours have altered since they got here and drug taking is probably one of the easiest to notice even amongst those i don't talk to. By far the easiest to notice and hardest to ignore are the outbursts from people who are angry at a neighbour, arguing with a visitor, or just plain crazy.
No.4 is on the ground floor on a corner of the block and where it is located has been the source of disturbances on and off ever since i've been here. It isn't odd for new tenants to be rowdy here as most come from a background of homelessness or close to it. I got my place because after gentrification had made renting at my former home impossible i was living in a boarding house run by Boarding House Association which was one of the groups amalgamated into BRIC. After almost two years in that place i was ready to move just about anywhere but still declined a flat on Brunswick Street in the Valley and wound up near the beach quite some distance from town and now i'm usually happy with it. That is until someone like the current occupant of No4 moves in. Perhaps he had been sleeping in the parks around here because Jen one of the original tenants recognises some of his friends and she has some knowledge of these things. At first it would be common for him to have friends over and in a bedsit barely big enough for four people to sit in chairs they would embark on a session of drinking that would go for a couple of days and produce so much noise and foul language that the young (19) woman downstairs knocked on his door and asked him to let her sleep as she had to go to work in the morning. His response was too intimidate her into backing off which provided an excellent cue for a self righteous outburst of abuse from a couple of tenants who went on to bait him for an hour or so until he had smashed a couple of his chairs over the fence and the police had arrived.
The police can do nothing until a crime has been committed and even then are reluctant to do anything in a place that has a reputation for drunk and loud behaviour. A sizeable fraction of the tenants here are on a pension because of a history of psychiatric admissions which doesn't endear them to police so all in all this is the kind of place they prefer to ignore. They said that to do anything about him would require as many tenants as possible to complain to the management and a few did. Still he persisted and still some complained until he eventually realised he couldn't do anything in his place any more than anybody else could when it disturbs the peace. The next outburst was from one of his visitors, a truly obnoxious character with a tenuous grip on himself and anything else except perhaps the ring in his tit. By his display it seemed as if he had been heavily using speed and booze or perhaps steroids. It wasn't much like any drug reaction i have witnessed but i have never witnessed steroids before. He was very pumped up, ripped off his shirt, called out to all demanding they come down to fight him, flashed himself and provided some amusement for anybody who wanted to taunt him from their balcony until the police took him away.
The next i heard of him was when Jen mentioned how he had been spending time in KD's place and that i should watch out where my stuff got to and since i spend a bit of time with KD i was as much concerned for her as for my stuff. I spoke with KD about this on a few occasions and she assured me that he was no friend and she tried to keep them out but couldn't really stop him and his mate, they are inseparable, from sleeping on the front lawn. She could call the police but this isn't the sort of thing that she can easily do. As i mentioned the police are disinclined to come here at the best of times and if they did would be as likely to put her in hospital as to put him in a cell. On Boxing Day i had been invited to dinner at KD's and getting no answer knocking on the door i went through the side gate and around to the front where i noticed a few people sitting at the table outside. Taking no notice i went in and was talking with KD when he came in and wanted to shake my hand. I did and predictably this became a silly game of dominance where he squeezed my hand while looking into my eyes awaiting a sign. He didn't get one until , tired of waiting for him to let go i squeezed back. He let go of my hand but continued to hold my gaze and mouthed off with some typical nonsense but when he failed to elicit a response, neither aggressive nor submissive he had what appeared to be a panic attack. He began to hyperventilate, became even more agitated, and with a worried look he consulted his partner complaining that "i was trying to get over him". When he went out to seek guidance i took my cue to leave saying to KD that "this was bad news".
He hasn't been back for a few days now and i wonder what sort of character he is. Rob in No4 is a weak thing who will brow beat a young woman and possibly bash her or worse but when it comes to someone not so helpless is quite pathetic and Joe who has belted him is convinced he wanted it. I figure Tarzan with the ring in his tit would see Rob as a good mate when it comes to finding somewhere to drink away from police patrols. KD's back door is two metres from his so when Rob tires of the company she is an easy target especially desirable if she has something to drink or smoke. It makes for interesting behaviour but at my age i'm not eager to get too involved and violence has never appealed to me but the thing i have noticed around here is that people who are eager to suggest violence aren't usually the ones most able to use it unless their opponent shows themselves to be incapable of dealing with it. Now on the 12/3/12 i can say that Tarzan didn't return more than a couple of times and KD said a month or so back that he had moved to Caboolture. A few weeks ago Rob moved out after a disgusted neighbour clobbered him pretty well for making remarks to his Missus. The place is really quiet theses days with only the Laval Flow constantly sliding downhill.

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