My Shitty NeighborJune 5, 2016
(I do wonder if people have asked, “Why isn’t he writing anymore? I mean, I don’t read his crap nor do I know of anyone who gives a dog’s truffle about his myopic stories, but writing is good, yeah? He should keep writing for its own sake.” Well, I’ve been distracted, castrated. Here’s why.”)
I’ve got this long-standing feud with my upstairs neighbor. The plump, young woman snores and it gets terrible – like she’s up there in bed choking out hoarse yodels. When it gets so bad, which is often, I pound on the wall to wake the snorer. I then turn on all the fans in my apartment to drown out the noise she makes that often does not cease or occasionally is only temporarily interrupted. I imagine the sound downstairs disquiets the girl, but I don’t care. I’ve communicated the problem to her, a problem that has persisted since nearly January first, 2016, and she has done little to correct the medical condition. She sleeps in her front room if she’s so compelled, that is, if I can possibly and accurately trace her pounding footsteps.
The solution is simple, simply lie on one’s side, the left-side if gastric health is to be considered. Alone in bed, the young woman rolls over on to her back – I can hear the bed groan – and the snoring immediately begins. (By the way, therein is the answer to the question she raised in a recent argument – “Why don’t the people I sleep with complain?” Well, obviously they keep you upright while you sleep there together in sin – or they are afraid they won’t get anymore puffy nookie if they complain).
There are harder solutions, but each begins with a simple step. See, the girl drinks, smokes and she is overweight. Given that this problem with snoring didn’t begin until this past year, she might easily address one of those issues and fix herself. It’s been obvious her drinking and smoking has increased. I’ve spotted her outside smoking in the parking lot more often this year and noticed every two or three days she brings home with her a six pack of beer (SOS branded, I believe, “Save Our Shore,” it read if I had clearly seen the print.) As far as her weight goes, I haven’t monitored her dimension. I rarely look squarely at the broken woman.
Exercise, I would recommend, that is if she didn’t consistently state I was harassing her and she would call the cops if I used dirty words like ‘shitty.’ I think she misconstrues our interactions either wantonly or because she harbors paranoia of rape faeries – you know, rapists that squeeze through cracked windows in the winter and that’s why her air conditioner must run twenty four hours a day, seven days each week. That sums up what she told me when she had moved in and when I mentioned she might open her door and windows like most anyone else does now. Sometimes I feel the vibration from the rumbling machine in my teeth and behind my eyes. And as far as that rape farce of hers goes, I have never ever touched the girl. I’ve never been close to the woman, certainly not nearly within arm’s reach. In fact, when necessary, I speak to her only when there is my screen door between us or when we are separated between the stairs. She’s knocks on my door and I never have hers. I don’t go upstairs nor do I invite her down.
Both these issues aside, the snoring and air conditioning, as my fans can potentially mask the sounds she makes, and when she plays her television too loud after the 10 PM start of “quiet hours,” the grief I have expressed to my apartment manager is that my neighbor’s water heater knocks so loud, it sounds like my own appliance directly beneath hers has rocks rolling through it. It doesn’t, of course, because it’s newer and I can pinpoint the source of the noise if I stand nearly beneath the sound of hammers and stoney clunks.
This has been a problem since March or April – it’s tough to remember dates once you’ve been denied sleep for weeks. Besides her prominent snoring, my neighbor runs her hot water excessively and starts the racket. She must use so much hot water, I think, either because she is wasteful or full of spite and knows she can be a nuisance and deny responsibility. She may be innocently masturbating with the running water, I don’t know nor do I care – it’s just something I heard young ladies might do when they are alone and in a mood. My problem is she often does so after 10 PM, or she washes dishes or clothes or does something unknown with hot water after the beginning of quiet hours, a time I choose to attempt sleep. It’s tough to sleep as it is because my bedroom window faces the apartment complex parking lot and it’s been all about the bass with drivers operating their vehicles outside. Besides these other conditions, the water heater noise has become overwhelming. It wasn’t so broken just months before.
I’ve complained about the water heater consistently for months. Since that first time, and soon after I had my own replaced during a flood in my apartment caused by the complex maintainer staff, two other water heaters in my same building have been replaced. They’ve been noisy, too, I’m sure, and one, I’m aware, generated water damage in the apartment below and adjacent to mine. It’s something I would like to avoid, again, a third time. This apartment has already flooded twice because the plumbing in the building. It seems it can’t support the newer pipe lain from the street. I’ve heard nearly a dozen dead water heater stories since the plumbing project was complete. I’ve seen their circular metal corpses standing on curbs and outside dumpsters. It’s not a stretch to imagine the one upstairs skirts its own demise.
In all cases, my apartment manager has stated my neighbor must complain about her appliance. I seemingly cannot ask for a nuisance in another unit be addressed. And I have seriously questioned my manager’s benevolence since her marriage fell apart years ago. I think she believes I ask too much and when I simply assert she needs to enforce the rules tenants agree upon with a signature before any can rent an apartment. She may now hate men, perhaps like the young woman above me whom I feel I am prejudiced to assume is one of those hardly clueful Social Justice Warriors I understand have descended from Undergraduate studies of Feminism.
Regardless, my upstairs neighbor has argued she did complain to the manager, months ago. I said I think she needs to remind the presumably menopausal woman that her appliance is broken. It’s causing tension between her and her neighbor, even the one neighbor. The young woman demanded I make a complaint, and I assured her, “I did, I do, but the only way anything will be down is through you.” The plump one did not respond and turned and stormed away. I mentioned she was being antisocial, She ignored me. I said you’re being a “shitty neighbor,” and that caught her attention and hopefully spur her to action. She shouted she would call the police if I swore at her and so I repeated myself verbatim.
You see, I picked the word carefully and for a reaction; my neighbor has a hypocritical thing about me using dirty words. She has so as long as I’ve known her and since she asked me to stop feeding my wee friends, sparrows. I declined and cited Los Angeles Municipal Code 53.06 and its subheading about feeding wild, non-predatory animals. She claimed nonsense about health hazards, about birds that poop everywhere, and I replied, “You’re talking shit. Go away.” Without recourse and unable to see the poetic connection of our remarks, and after she demanded I repeat myself so that she still didn’t “get it”, she did leave and her snoring became worst, her television got louder and the number of times she empties her rattling water heater has grown and now encroaches upon the late evening and early morning. I haven’t asked the young woman to stop showering, I only asked that she persuade the manager to install a new appliance.
And when I did recently speak to a manager at my apartment complex, that manager claimed she didn’t think my neighbor ever said a negative thing about her water heater. She asked that I call the office the next time the appliance made so much noise. She then might finally come over to my apartment and hear the torture I endure. The next day, when my upstairs neighbor apparently showered at 6 PM, I called the office but I did not reach one single office staff, just an answering machine. My neighbor then again drained her hot water and woke me at 1 AM the next morning with rumbling knocks from the associated appliance. She now denies the incident but admits to being awake and moving about. I heard her moving around in her kitchen directly above my own. I heard water running in her sink.
I assumed, if she wasn’t doing dishes or washing something needlessly important, she turned on the hot water knowingly in an effort to exert revenge, revenge because I turned on the fan in my kitchen when she presumably believed she needed to turn up the volume on her television after 10 PM that evening. I addressed the noise with brief letter in which I called her a liar based on the truths that her water heater has still not been replaced despite of her claim to have spoken to the apartment complex office, and in light that the office does not remember her. My neighbor has charged I am harassing her with my civil badgering, to which I say, “You harass me.”
“But you yell profanities at me and bang on wall,” she’s now argued. “To wake you up,” I say. She’s said, “No, when I’m awake and during the day.”
Well, I do shout, I throw things about, but the young lady must realize she is being vain, paranoid. My troubles are not all about her. I’m angry at all things in the world and I ration myself necessarily. My shitty neighbor gets only an ounce of my vinegar and bile.