Please, do not get me wrong. My neighborhood does not actually frighten me. Though when my mom visited a month before Jackson's birth and I questioned her she admitted it did. Due to the "gang writing". (A couple of teens had tagged two things near our apartment over spring break. My mom is a hoot.)
We have an 850 square foot apartment with all hardwood floors in a building built in 1919 that is eligible for historic landmark status. It's really very nice. It's also on the third floor. Now I know anyone in New York reading this right now is laughing at my frustration with a third floor walk-up, but please consider that not one month after we moved in I got myself knocked up, with the help of Joe.
Now that you know what I love, here's the rest. The neighbor to the right of us we have named "Warren" after "Empire Records".
The day he moved in I knew it, due to his use of Whitney Houston on repeat. I heard "The Greatest Love of All" three times that afternoon. A couple days later I decided he honestly didn't know how well his music was traveling through the walls as well as it was. We can't hear the person across the hall, and at that time had never heard the person above us and the person below us only twice. (Once I pointed out to her the volume she was incredibly sweet and turned down the bass.)
So I go to meet my new neighbor. On this day I identified the music as Ani DiFranco, a musician I love, and had previously heard Tori Amos, who I adore above all others. (Sorry God) Needless to say, I am expecting a woman. Joe had jokingly said if it were a man we must call him Warren. I had to bite my tongue when "Warren" opened the door. In my nicest way, but I was four months pregnant at the time and a bit short tempered. "Welcome" I said. "We live on the other side of the wall, and I thought I would just mention to you that your music is quite audible at this level. Should we ever make noise enough to bother you please feel free to knock on the wall and let us know". I did everything but salaam to this man/boy. His response? Paraphrased: "I am going to play my music this loud an you can deal with it." Biting my tongue and still feeling embarrassed I headed back to our unit. I may get angry but I suck at confrontation. Which should honestly be a sign how bad it was were I willing to approach him in the first place.
When the new semester began in January I noticed the girl upstairs started singing out of nowhere. At fist I thought it was a class she was taking. She needs lessons. She's a really bad singer. Then the acoustic guitar began to join her. May I add that her favorite time to do so was at 3AM in the goddamn morning. After two months of this I went up at 4 one day to ask her to cease, when I discovered that she too was a new neighbor. We call her Luka. She lives upstairs from us, and we hear something late at night. To be fair though, her singing pales in comparison to when she and her boyfriend are screwing so loudly that the lady two floors down thought it was Joe and I.
Aside from my inconsiderate neighbors what gets me the most is this basement apartment across the alley where parties are held about every other weekend. Parties that are accompanied by bass loud enough to shake my apartment. Parties that let out at 3AM and whose attendees throw glass bottles all over our parking lot. I gave in one night that I had to be up at 6AM and called the police on a noise complaint. I hate
being a narc. And though I may be good at it, I'm not so fond of being a bitch, so this all makes me feel really badly.
Jack joined us, and with his crying I fear mentioning anything to anyone in our building ever again, though when I apologized for noise I was told repeatedly no one has ever heard anything. How the fuck loud were these people that I've heard them as much as I have then?
Tonight I was sitting out on our "deck" reading when I noticed a group of people in our lot passing something around. Here, my weak spot and sense of "That was once me" kicked in, and I went down in person to warn them that "people" in our building have been known to call the police. They cleared out in a heartbeat, thanking me, and I felt less like a narc.
Nonetheless, I am currently hating myself wondering when it was exactly that I go so very old.
It makes me sad.