Although it may sound like a plot for a sitcom pitch, Neil Kramer is actually living it. Kramer spent the last two years living in Queens with his mother and ex-wife.
Sophia Lansky, who was divorced from Kramer more than a decade ago after their 15 year marriage, asked her ex-husband whether she would be able to stay with him and his mom -- who had been living there for several weeks -- after her roof collapsed in 2019.
Kramer stated that he thought the wait would last for a month during a StoryCorps interview with Lansky in November 2021.
Kramer gave his ex wife his room. He slept in the pullout sofa in the living room.
Then, COVID-19 hit.
Kramer stated, "We almost became dependent upon each other for our survival."
"There were moments when the news was breaking, and I would go in at 3:00 in the morning to watch. We would just hug and watch together."
Lansky, a court translator, and Kramer (a writer/photographer) have been sharing their quarters since 2020.
Kramer started to document their bizarre living arrangements early in the pandemic. He used staged photos as a coping tool and a way of tapping into the absurdity and humor of their lives.
One of his photos shows Kramer, who is covered in bubbles and soaking in a tub while being crowded by his roommates.
He said that most of their fights revolved around lack of space. "I spent a lot time in the tub just hanging out there."
Kramer stated that his friends are interested in knowing if Kramer and his ex-wife are getting back together.
Lansky and he both said that they don't have such plans.
Lansky stated that she views her ex-ex as less of a friend than her family and more like her family, but "just not my spouse."
Lansky is still trying to figure her next move as the pandemic drags along. She said that Kramer will always be there, even when she is ready to move in her own home.
She told him that if there was one thing she took away from their encounter, it was his kindness.
Kramer stated, "What was so special about the past almost two years? It was that there really was no one else." "Even though our home is in New York City, which is a city of millions, we still feel the same way," Kramer said.
Lansky added, "- New York was a place of population three people." "And I wouldn’t want to go through the experience without you."