Steve the burning man – a true story

Halloween is upon us so let me tell you about Steve the maniac. This is something that happened during Spooktober and it is a weird and fitting end to our journey this year! Strap yourselves in, because this a ride and a half!

The story starts right as I come home to my girlfriend after a long day of traveling (long-distance relationship and all that). I am tired but extremely happy to once again be back in the arms of the one I love. Since my last visit, my girlfriend has had a new place and it is such an upgrade but with a slight problem. Underneath her flat is a guy that we’ll call Steve. Steve is very loud, argues with his girlfriend (?) a lot, and just seems to be quite the troublemaker. I tune the ramblings out rather quickly. We cuddle, catch up, enjoy each other’s company until SUDDENLY, I have to pee. I merrily walk into the bathroom, I hear a beeping in the distance followed by a very slurred voice screaming fire. Oh no, what is Steve up to? I casually walk to my girlfriend and tell her that there seems to be a fire and lo and behold there is. But this is merely the start of our worries.

After a bit of back and forth, we decide to leave the apartment. My girlfriend who was caught in the smoke more than once is coughing her lungs out and as we get outside we are met by quite the sight. There’s a huge fan blowing the acrid smoke out of the building, firefighters everywhere, policemen, and after a while even ambulance people. In a corner, we see Steve, with an oxygen mask sitting barefoot on the asphalt. Cheerily talking to people around him, and after a while gets tired of the mask and rips it off, it’s music time. He saved a guitar from his place, an untuned piece of wood that sounds like you are trying to murder a 60-year-old smoker. Steve merrily plays some tunes until he realizes what is going on. He won’t be able to go back to his smoke-damaged apartment. By this point, we have headed back up in our apartment but we can clearly hear the argument going on downstairs. After an hour we have peace. Steve has been taken away from the flat and is now “hopefully” getting some help with his unstable demeanor. We were oh so wrong.

Loud noises in the dark

The hour is 1 am, we have just settled into bed. It’s my girlfriend’s birthday officially now. What a way to start a birthday huh? We laugh at the irony of it all and we snuggle up, getting ready to sleep. At least the birthday is gonna go well now that he is gone. I hear a door slam shut, I look at my girlfriend and we realize that Steve is back. He is not happy, so he does what any man would do in his situation. He breaks out in song, accompanied by the dying smoker’s guitar. This lasts for hours, until the early hours of the morning in fact. Then finally quiet, for about two hours that it took him to recharge for yet another solo performance. The entire day he sings, sits by his window casually threatening bystanders, and is outwardly aggressive towards his surroundings. Just as we discarded the birthday as a lost cause the police arrived yet again.

Steve is not happy about his new visitors and is not willing to let them in. What follows is a very long exchange of yelling back and forth, a psychosis vs sanity plays out and thankfully sanity wins. Steve is being taken away from his smoke-filled apartment, peace and quiet have returned. We dare to do some candy shopping and we manage to somewhat salvage this birthday. Tomorrow I say, tomorrow we’ll have a real birthday outing. I was almost oh so wrong.

Please let me in

After what feels like the first restful sleep in ages Steve the burning man is back, it is early morning and I am cranky. He is no longer allowed entry and does not seem to have the keys to get in anymore. He is now wearing a fancy yellow poncho, casually walking up and down the streets yelling about any and all injustices he’s been through. At this point in time, my vitriol has been turned into pity. This man is suffering, his mental state is in tatters and he’s a danger to himself and also his surroundings. We are not giving up our birthday outing! We are mentally preparing to push through him and get out and do fun stuff. We spend a good few hours psyching ourselves up. As we head out, mentally prepared to meet a shattered man, we are instead met with another slew of police and firemen. Steve seems to be either gone, back in his apartment or just available at the moment. Rather than sticking around and waiting for a resolution, we let out a sigh of relief. We go on our birthday outing, a day late. It is very enjoyable. We hear no more guitar playing, we hear no more ramblings, and there are no more fires.

We later hear that Steve is being evicted, we hope he gets the help he needs. The reason there are two posts missing during Spooktober is because of this. It has been quite a tumultuous visit. But now it is calm, we are getting the apartment furnished, we have peace and quiet, and most importantly we have each other.

Thank you everyone for following along this Spooktober. It has been great fun to make this thing bigger and bigger every year! Next year it might be even bigger! Who knows? Until then, take care of yourselves, take care of your surroundings, and most importantly stay spooky!

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