I couldn’t say it had to happen.
But it became necessary.
It became necessary when after another night away from the home to avoid the intrusive noises from the Clomp and Clack Couple above I returned at 10 p.m. to their TV blasting.
It became necessary when after weeks of their constant excessive and imposing noises — a long laundry list I don’t care to detail or revisit — they showed no signs of developing consideration or awareness of others.
I had a little help getting there … taking that step to write a letter to the landlord — all informational with just a splash of personal about the enormous stress and toll it’s taken … help from an excellent and skilled tarot reader.
Involving the police (which became necessary in week 1 with the new neighbors) is one thing; maintaining and restoring public peace is their job. The officer doesn’t know you or you him/her; no names were involved and the noisy neighbors had no way of knowing which neighbor made the call.
Involving the landlord’s another thing. You know each other. You can’t know how — or in some cases if — the landlord will respond.
You don’t know how the neighbors, once they’ve been made aware of a complaint, will respond … whether they’ll retaliate or make matters worse (by for example stomping or cranking up the TV even more loudly) or attempt to initiate a war.
Sometimes speaking up escalates a problem. Sometimes it fixes it. With a landlord I barely know and neighbors I know only through their intrusive, inconsiderate and disruptive behaviors, speaking up is fraught with risk.
So I consulted an excellent tarot reader. He not only picked up on and described my situation to a T with no input from me, he understood my caution about contacting the landlord and risks and affirmed there’d be no retaliation from the Noisy Neighbors.
On that green light and confidence in the reader’s credibility, I proceeded to pen a letter to the landlord. An informative letter not of emotion but fact in the style of Joe Friday’s “just the facts ma’am.”
I know my landlord to be a reasonable, reasoning, competent, articulate business-type woman with no axe to grind (toward me or I daresay most people) or agenda. She’s been in the business a long time and has certainly encountered tenant complaints, justified or otherwise.
I trust her to read and receive the letter in the spirit in which it it intended and to act as she sees fit.
That’s a really GOOD feeling — REALLY good, especially after still stinging from the behaviors and emotional prejudices of my former landlord (and his small crew of chronic complainers).
“Just the facts, ma’am.” I WANT that in a landlord!! Need that. I need fairness. Reason. Justness.
The letter’s gone, thank you, cyberspace. Now that it’s written, long weeks after saying nothing amid the constant noise, bangings, blaring TV, stompings, impositions, disruptions etc. wrought by neighbors out of control and focusing on myself to be still and Zen amid the intrusions, I feel good about bringing the landlord into the loop.
I feel good about it on in the context of communication and information for ALL residents and neighbors impacted by their behaviors.
I will continue to practice stillness. I shall continue learning Zen amid the assholes — no shortage of ’em in this world, eh?! And I shall continue changing and growing and monitoring my responses and consciously choosing new and better ones.
The work — the work of remaining still while the rest of the world is being an asshole — continues. But this was about so much more than that. So much more. Childhood experiences and issues still to be uncovered and healed.
In the meantime, I’ve no regrets about how I handled the VERY ACTIVE and oblivious Clomp & Clack Couple above. I did not fight fire with fire. I did not go banging on their door or seek to consult with them to alleviate the problem.
I remained inward-focused, mindful of the teaching/lesson about Zen amid the Noise and assholes. And when things got really bad or out of control, I let the authorities (police and landlord) handle it. No interference or involvement from me beyond passing on information about behaviors affect the group as a whole, not only myself.
Yes, it became time to speak up (inform the landlord) for the good of all. As for me, I’ll keep on growing and LEARNING to trust that authorities (i.e., police, landlord) will do the good thing rather than the bad thing.
Looking forward to a GREAT and peaceful 2015!