I heard thuds as he was moving in. When I was going out, he was coming towards me from the stairwell, presumably after doing something downstairs, out the back. “Hi,” I said, “I’m John.” “H,” he replied, not stopping. Another neighbour to ignore, I concluded. I myself went out the back to recycle and saw a mess of paint in the bin area, that I told Tina of when I passed her in the street. Back, I checked there was a patch of paint on his balcony ledge and the trajectory of the paint on the ground indicated it’d been thrown from the left of that patch right-handedly and with considerable force for the spillage to arc over bins, wall and shed to the right. The new neighbour, looking in, guffawed as he passed my door with a girl.
Next morning police passed my door. I said he might be out and, since he’d been rude, told the policeman how it could be proved he’d done it. “You’re good at detecting,” he said. “The police aren’t good at deduction,” I replied.
When they came out from his flat, I asked why they were involved. He explained if I’d spilt paint and admitted it – not that I had! It was just an example – then some arrangement would probably be come to with the landlord, but if I denied it, it was criminal damage. “Is he denying it?” As is their wont, the police would say neither yea or nay.
Tina said when she’d asked him if he’d done it, he was rude.
The mess was cleaned up by the block’s cleaner and jet washers. The cleaner told the jet washer, as I was hanging up my washing, the police didn’t know who did it. “They do so know,” I intruded. “I hope they get him,” the jet washer said. “They will, if they choose to,” I said.
Upstairs again, I was asked by the new neighbour who’d been looking down, “What happened? Did the police speak to you?” “Yes,” I smiled noncommittally and went inside.