The Joys of Apartment Living - The Magic
Every apartment complex has special people, some more special than others. Some even have the power of magic.
Before we get started I would like to explain: I have no problem with magic, magicians, witches, sorcerers, or the works of Tolkien and Pratchett. Some of my friends and relatives have been involved in the craft of such things. Having said that, this article is about the magic of living in an apartment complex with a wizard for a number of years.
More than a decade ago, I moved into one of those swanky complexes with all of the modern touches. You know: several pools, onsite laundry, gates around everything, and stairs everywhere. What they didn't advertise in the renters guide was the onsite thugs, drunks, and drug dealers. But every complex that I have lived in has had those in varying degrees. After awhile you come to expect this in apartment living, what I didn't see coming was the wizard.
Habo was a short, pudgy guy in his mid-thirties. That was what he was called: Habo. No last name, just like Cher or Madonna. Habo wore a purple cloak with a silhouette of a crescent moon sewn on the back. He wore it every day of the year, no matter how hot or cold, for more than three years. He also walked with a wooden staff. And had long scraggly beard. The only thing Habo was missing was the pointy hat.
This is the part of the story where some people might say that he was quiet or didn't bother anyone, but that wasn't true. Habo involved himself in everything at that complex.
I would come home in the middle of the night, and he would be sitting on someone else's porch having a beer. I could look out the window at 2 PM and he would be talking to the mailman. I would see him in the parking lot talking to some guy working on his car. It was always happening like that in some random way. On any given day at any time he would be out there in his purple cloak talking some random person's ear off. A lot of the time he would be sitting in a lawn chair that he must have brought with him, although I never saw him carrying one around.
If he had a job, it had to be as resident apartment wizard/psychologist. I mean, is wizard a job? Like maybe some sort of government job where you maintain the peace in the way the sheriff did in the old west? Probably not.
I know he wasn't an alchemist (which some people confuse with witchcraft) because he never made anything. Though he did do some magical things.
This something may have not have involved bending the laws of physics or using nature for his whims, but it was none the less magical. I mean besides how he managed to pay his rent when he never seemed to go anywhere.
About two months after I first encountered Habo, I noticed something strange. When I was coming home at about 10PM one night, I came across a group of people sitting on one of the porches, just hanging out. Habo was among them. He was sitting on his chair in a corner. The strange part was that a scantily clad woman, way out of his league, was sitting on his lap with her arm around him. Although I had seen both of them several times before, and also after that night, I never saw them wrapped around each other.
And this was only the first of many situations like this. Over the next three years, I encountered at least half of the single women under the age of thirty in the complex flirting with, rubbing up against, or hanging all over Habo. It was as if Gandolf the Grey were a short, pudgy chic magnet.
It was like Habo had a certain power over people. And not just single women under fifty. I wasn't sure of this until that one night.
It happened on the night of the 4th of July to be exact. Half the complex seemed to be out having a party that included fireworks. The largest number were being set off by this huge thug and his children. Around midnight, Habo seemed to have had enough of the party. He walked up to the thug/father mid pyrotechnic display. The criminal looked surprised when he saw Habo approaching. I was sure that I was about to become a witness to Habo's murder. Habo said only one thing to him: "I have to get up in the morning."
This normally dangerous guy bowed his head, and said "sorry". He then grabbed his children and his fireworks and went into his apartment. The thug packed it in so fast, he left his almost full beer lying on the curb. And with that, the party was over.
Now that was magic.