A case of Tylenol can’t cure this ailment!

How to describe it …

Okay. Pray to God you never experience this but you’re driving along one day on a stretch of country road and the fan belt breaks.

You gotta keep driving. Cousin Ellie Mae’s gettin’ married to your best friend Jimmy and you’ve got his ring.

So for the next hour-and-a-half, you listen to the split fan belt go thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack as it strikes metal of the bonnet.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack. Like a duck with a speech impediment.

You arrive at the wedding safely on time despite the rapping knocking of the fan belt. Everything’s swell.

Until you gotta leave. Get back in your car. And have to listen to thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack for the next five hours straight. Rap music without lyrics or melody. Only the rhythm of a persistent flat monotone.

Thwack thwack thwack. A fan belt striking metal only reminding of a costly repair ahead upon your return.

In other words, my landlord hasn’t done squat about the thumping swamp cooler of Unit A above.

It’s massive! Nearly the size of a PT Cruiser — speaking of cars! It’s been thwacking, thumping and knocking — oh my! — since Day 1 when the neighbors turned it on.

A month ago.

I submitted a maintenance request. I knew the neighbors wouldn’t. I doubt they care — or even hear it inside their cushy nice cool digs.

The world around them certainly can hear it! Whether we want to or not. I hear it the loudest because it sits directly above my studio. I hear it whether I’m inside or on my small patio.

I hear it too because the thwackings bounce off the walls of the next building. The driving obnoxious intrusive sound made all the more so by an amplifying echo.

The landlord doesn’t give a you-know-what.

“We’re aware of the issue,” emailed Holly at the landlord’s office when I wrote a follow-up. “The servicemen are very busy.” Summer ‘n’ all. “They’ll get to it when they can.”

I knew straightaway: “They’re never comin’.”

A year from now, I could swing by this space and the damn thing’ll still be knocking.

This space has been fraught with noise issues from Day One. Literally Day One. That’s when I discovered that this studio’s not the haven of peace and serenity it appeared to be when I first viewed it.

No one above was home at the time. In fact, Apartment A had been vacant and was awaiting its new occupants. Who moved in the same time I did. Literally.

Everything went south. Noise. Noise noise noise noise noise and more noise. Don’t need or care to revisit that nightmare. But it drove me nuts!!

The nightmare’s soon to end. Within a month, I’ll be moving. Still don’t have the new place.

Point is: I’m moving.

So’s the neighbor’s swamp cooler. Thwack thwack thwack, sounds like a belt needing replacement.

Thwack thwack thwack. The sound of hard slappings of my hand on the landlord’s head in my imaginary world.

“Get the damn thing fixed! Respect your tenants! And the need for peace! You’re *paid* to maintain properties! So do it! Do what’s right!”

Thwack thwack thwack directly above. Bouncing off the walls.

Thwack thwack thwack. Filling my space inside and outside. Day, afternoon and/or night.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack. No volume of music from my fine stereo can overcome it. Not even close.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack. Boring a hole into my head. Producing serious headaches.

Forcing me to leave the place I don’t call home. Not really.

Tha-tha-that’s all, folks! Off now to the library for some quiet.

Plus I need a new book.

At the top of my Wanna-Read list:

“Easy Cooler Care: A Self Help Guide to Servicing and Repairing Your Evaporative Cooler”

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The Fry’s Frazzle & a Shocking Surprise

Wow! Has it been a ride and a half lately!

Fumbling Be Fry’s

The saga of Fry’s bumbling, fumbling the ball and making a mockery of communication and efficiency continues.

Long twisted story short, I *still* am not working at the supermarket, two months after this process began! Through zero fault of my own.

At this point, I’m not holding my breath that I’ll ever be working there, even though I’ve navigated through the interview, drug test, store tour, daylong orientation, meetings with X, Y an Z.

I will say that Fry’s and Kroger, its parent company, exemplify the worst of the worst of Corporate! It’s as far from a model of efficiency, communication and cost-effectiveness as a model could be! It ain’t Costco for sure!

Anyways, at this rate, I predict that I’ll never work for them, despite completion of all preliminaries, thanks to the Fry’s Frazzle. I’ll continue the search for other employment. Whoopee!

Exiting the Elephantitis Effect

This is what we in the print industry call burying the lead.

I am moving.

It wasn’t planned or desired at this time. End of year, yes.

I’m SHOCKED.

For reasons COMPLETELY unknown to me — and the property management company, I’m told — the apartment owner is not renewing my lease. I’ve no idea who the owner is or where s/he lives. Owners aren’t obligated to tell a landlord the why of any decision.

Although I suspect the reasons, I can’t know for certain. Thus I must simply take it on good faith that life and/or the universe wants me out at this time for reasons I can’t see or know.

My emotions are mixed. There’s much I love about my space: the location, relative privacy, affordability and VIEW!! My goodness I love the view from atop the small hill!

AND I can’t stand the noise issues from the upstairs neighbors that’ve plagued my place from Day One. Literally. They moved in same time I did.

While S. & Y. — aka the Clack & Clomp Couple — can’t be held entirely responsible for the Elephantitis of the Walk … the place lacks insulation and is poorly constructed … the guy, Y., definitely emits an energy that deeply rubs me the wrong way. And conversations did nothing to rectify that.

Moreover, I’m rarely alone, even though on paper I live alone. She’s home for long lunches; they’re both home from 5 p.m. on.

Between their scant absences and their footsteps reverberating like a herd of elephants across my ceiling — a low one, at that, which only drove their intrusions deeper into my space — I’ve been escaping my space more than living in it!

I tried, I truly tried to bear it out. However, when it comes down to it, I didn’t like living under them, I really didn’t like living under *him,* I didn’t like hearing their every footstep x 1,000 because the porousness of wood floors amplify and transit.

So yeah, my emotions are mixed.

This’ll be my fourth move in town in 16-17 months. Yeah, a move about every 3-4 months is my average. In total, this’ll be about Move #54.

Yes, it’s a hassle.

Yes, it’s undesired *at this time.*

Yes, it’s costly.

Yes, I STILL need employment. Badly! Oh so badly!

Yes, I will deeply and truly miss the positives of my current space. Including feeding the birds.

Yes, I still have emotions to work through. Anger, confusion, bafflement, opposing emotions of relief and sorrow.

AND I have to: (a) stay positive and (b) keep letting go and letting divine forces of the universe to help and guide me to a better place.

One that makes my heart sing.

One that’s serene and feels like a sanctuary.

Up ahead: A fresh vision board on the new moon in Cancer on July 16.

Bye-bye, Click ‘n’ Clomp … hellooo, Calgon!

Memorial Day weekend in the States.

Translation: A three-day weekend for many.

I like the holidays though not for the reason you think!

For starters, I work only 11 hours a week. I want and need to be working 30! Hence time off via holidays is hardly what I want!

No. The reason I like these holiday weekends is: It’s the only time my apartment becomes quiet. Still. Serene.

Because the upstairs neighbors are away! The Click ‘n’ Clomp Couple. Click = her shoes and Clomp, his. A take on the hilarious & infamous Click ‘n’ Clack Car Guys on national radio.

I’ve talked and written on the topic to death so no need to repeat. I’ve also dialogued with them. Everything that can be done has been done — short of someone moving. šŸ˜‰

The construction — zero insulation between above and below, their wood floors, my low ceilings — is what it is. Crappy. Reverberating vibrating LOUD noise is and will remain a constant irritant. Like an army of ticks burrowing into your skin. Gross! But hey, if the image fits …

I remember last Christmas. Just five months ago. Not only because it was my first Christmas in Prescott but because it was the first time “my” place fell quiet. The neighbors, who like me had moved in above just a month before, were away. For five days. Five PRECIOUS days. Five days of real peace.

It was bliss, I tell you. Utter bliss!!!

When they returned, I got really down. Down and aggravated and tense and tight. I yearned for them to go away again. Sooner than later. Even thought of paying for their getaways! That’s just symptomatic of the constant stress and aggravation I’m under.

And powerlessness. I cannot make them stop the noise. The wearing of shoes, the stomping, the {fill-in-the-blank}. I have to endure it. Or I have to move.

And moving at this time is sooo not an option; so not in the cards.

So I endure. Because it’s what I do.

Back to Memorial Day. Since it’s a 3-day weekend and the kids — the couple above — are away, I can exhale now. Begin to breathe. I hold my breath when I’m stressed … angry … frustrated … overwhelmed … I’m all of these and more!

It’s not only I who changes and relaxes when they’re gone. The energy in the apartment itself shifts. I feel it just walking in.

It becomes still. It rests. Is no longer rattling and vibrating under the assaulting hoof steps of people above.

It’s a small space, this, and offin-shaped. Indeed it WOULD be a coffin were it not for the views out two windows. The walls are thick with cinderblock and concrete.

However, its ceiling is thin and verrrrry poorly constructed. At any moment, a foot from above could come crashing through!

There’s a pulse to my apartment and it’s not mine. It’s hardly even the apartment’s! It’s the pulse of residents above.

I feel badly for the apartment. I do. Always having to be underfoot of people above. The apartment can’t get away from it. The cause lies in design and poor construction.

For myself, I feel badly as well. I know no relief or respite unless they’re gone. And that rarely happens. When IS the next holiday anyway?! July 4? Bet they’ll stick around since it falls on a Saturday. A regular weekend; not enough time for an out-of-towner.

My domestic situation is dictated by people above me — literally (and figuratively!). Mine is not a happy home or peaceful or restful or restorative or calm.

It is a home of vibrating and rattling and shaking and intrusions — noises from others.

I think of moving every day, even though now’s NOT the time. My emotions are mixed. That’s a matter for another month.

For today, the first day of the long Memorial Day weekend, I think: ahhhhhhhhhhh. My Calgon moment is arrived!! The couple above are away. I can breathe.

I best enjoy it too! Best breathe deep and fast! Soon enough they’ll return and with them bring all this crap. Soon enough, I’ll stop breathing again.

But for now and tomorrow … bliss!

Calgon, take me away!!

Calgon, take me away!! Take the neighbors too!

what earplugs can’t cure, perhaps prayer can

It never stops.

I’m dubbing theirs The Apartment Renovations from Hell. They never stop. The renovations. Or the couple above in Apartment A. He especially. They’re young and active, that I know by living under them for 3 months. Now I’m beginning to wonder whether he’s ADD.

(And I am NOT one to rush or succumb to medical labeling and the ubiquitous liberal-led/PC blaming of it to describe everything from a character flaw to natural childhood rambunctioness!)

Let me tell you what living under Couple A — he especially — is like.

1. At approximately noon, she comes home from work. Her hard-soled ladies shoes clack clack clack clomp clomp clomp on the wood floors. Drawers and closets are opened and slammed shut.

Note: They have wooden floors, which amplify EVERY SOUND 1,000 times, which you know if you’ve ever lived below them. If you haven’t, you cannot understand. Plain ‘n’ simple.

2. She spends the rest of the day at home, which means intermittent reverberating heavy footsteps, sounds of furniture being dragged (cleaning? rearranging?) and other tolerable and reasonable sounds for daytime.

Could she lighten her steps? Put down throw rugs to muffle the clomping? Yes. BUT hers is an energy fairly unobtrusive. She’s very loud vocally. Last night I could hear ever word of her phone conversation and her laughs and shriekings (computer games?) are likely audible in the next building. Examples. These are mere examples from the many in 3 months.

3. At exactly 5:10, he returns from work. You can tell by his footsteps. LOUD. HEAVY. Elephant-ish. They reverberate across my ceiling and throughout my studio. Yes, they are so loud that I’ve been awakened out of a dead sleep in my bedroom — which is just on the sidelines beneath their floor plan, thank god! — with the door closed.

4. When he returns, hell breaks loose. I do not mean domestic violence. I mean let the thunderous herd begin! I swear to god, he never stops moving!

Open and slam closet and drawers. Stomp stomp stomp here. Stomp stomp stomp there. Drag heavy furniture across floors. Pound walls. Drop things. The reverberating of even a hammer falling onto a wooden floor can rattle you to your core!

The other night … Wednesday wasn’t it? … I came home at 8.30. Early for me. Often the minute he walks in is my signal to flee my apartment for the night, waiting to return until after 10-10:30 when they retire.

This particular night I came back early. Mistake. He sounded like he was scraping paint off walls! Or the finish off the wooden floor! I never could determine (and from the limited window view could see nothing) but OH THE SOUNDS. DREADFUL! Thunderous SCRAPE SCRAPE SCRAPING. Past 8:30 at night!! Then a THUNDERING move of some weighty piece of furniture from one end of their apartment to the other. Directly above me.

A bit late for heavy-duty renovations, I think.

And what I don’t get is how they can have so much still to remodel in an apartment after 3 months of living there! Good lord!! It’s not a dump! You move in! Get settled! Settle in. End of story!

Moreover, this is all taking place in an apartment with VERY STRICT LEASE CONDITIONS. I mean it. For example, no nails permitted. But if you choose to use them, you will be charged for their repair when you leave.

His constant noisy activities and stomping continue past 10 or 10:30 p.m., especially on weekends. Almost every night. For three months. And gaining.

5. Between her being there all day and the both of them at night, it’s VERY VERY VERY rare that I have a quiet moment or the place to myself. Sounds contradictory to write that. I live alone in a small studio. But truth is, I am never alone. Either one or both of them are above. Being noisy. Inducing stress. Rattling my nerves to such a high pitch that I am either (a) losing sleep / experiencing insomnia for the stress or (b) being awakened early by their stompings and remodelings. I mean, how many fucking times can you move a TV console or table or whatever else the fuck they’re moving?!?!?

6. Take this morning. After a few hours of sleep, I’m awake at 5 a.m. by stress. I try try try to get back to sleep. I work tonight past midnight. I need to be rested.

At 9:15 a.m. … CRAAAAAAAASHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I’m jarred out of a dead sleep. The neighbors upstairs moving furniture again and it sounds like a piece fell. Like a decorative ball made outta wood or something. Whatever it was, the ruckus reverberates ACROSS MY ENTIRE CEILING from one end to the other!

Then more SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPE across the wooden floors within a marble’s throw above me. Then STOMP STOMP STOMP. Into another room. Then more SCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPE. Another piece of furniture being moved.

IT. NEVER. ENDS!

I don’t mean that literally. Of course it ends. When they sleep. Or when they’re at work. Otherwise, there is SOME noise being produced, either intermittently in her case or constantly in his from noon to 10 p.m. and past.

Now, I ask you people who have read this far, what would you do?!

It’s rhetorical. There are many more elements in this scenario that are unwritten that make moot a sound judgment on your part.

I don’t really want any opinion or thought other than my sister’s (whom I trust and who better knows the extent of the situation).

7. Lest I forget — and were that I could! — the police have been brought to their apartment three times — the last time being several days ago (blaring their TV apparently after again rearranging it along with others furnishings & somehow all that scraping was a part).

I cannot say this emphatically enough. I DO NOT WANT TO CONTINUE IMPOSING ON OUR FINE POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR DOMESTIC DISTURBANCES.

Three police visits in three months is a lot, in my view. It does not speak to neighbors who are neighborly or considerate.

In truth, not a one of their actions in these past months speak of mindfulness of others. At. All.

The landlord is an off-site landlord with a major property management company. She’s unaware of any issue until it’s brought to her attention. She’s been informed — in the simple FYI style that she prefers — of ongoing noise issues as well as the two police visits. I’ve not yet informed her of the third and most recent one (and will, next week; since she’s been out of the office this week, I don’t want to relay the information until she’s returned & caught up on more pressing/important matters.)

After hearing of police visits, what the landlord does or doesn’t communicate to the A neighbors, I do not know and it isn’t my business. They seemed to quiet down some at night (reduced raucous partying, blasting audio) after the second visit so apparently something was said.

They quiet down for a spell and then ramp back up. It is out of control, this continuous noise and disruptiveness. Yet there is nothing that I can do personally to stop them. My only true and best course of action is to inform the authorities and let them handle it.

* * *

All said and done, my patience has been tested full-tilt. For three months I’ve lived with this and never once complained to them, banged the ceiling with a broom handle (almost always a bad move leading to retribution and worsening of the problem!). My gut tells me he is a man not to be messed with. That to speak up would be a HUGE blunder. He’d apologize and smile and shut the door and then stomp intentionally harder. Just because he could.

No. Letting the authorities handle it is the way to go. Yet my patience is stretched to a filament and my exhaustion borne of anxiety and distress from the continuous invasions of noise and disrespect they’re showing all their neighbors — there are two tenants/studios beneath their comparatively massive one — are eroding, nee destroying the pleasures of being here.

I want to emphatically express that. I LOVE where I live! This place and space! Is it forever? No. For this time of my life, it is ideal. I need to be here and WANT to be here.

The ONLY problem, the absolute thorn in the side, are the neighbors above. It’s not just their noise that eats away at me. It’s really their complete lack of consideration. Their lack of caring. Or both.

Human beings like that should not be permitted to rent in community/apartment complexes! The world would be better off if there were like dedicated spaces and the sole requirement for getting into that metaphorically gated community is: Everyone hates living around you. You are thoughtless. Inconsiderate. You care nothing about the impact of your lifestyle on others. Application completed!

Welcome to the Community of Rejects. Where the Mannerless and the Rude and the Assholes of Community Living Come to Maybe Make One Another Miserable.

Of course the single flaw in that imaginary scene is that the Arrogant and the Self-Absorbed are missing that “sensitivity chip.” (Who can not think of Jennifer Aniston on that reference now?!?) They know not the disruptions and discomforts and worse they bring to others and therefore they themselves will not feel them inflicted by others.

So even their own community of the Arrogant and the Self-Absorbed is a lost cause.

* *

Is mine? I do not know yet. My love of this place, apart from the neighbors, compels me to fight to remain here. Much will depend on what the landlord is willing and unwilling to do (in response to new information about continued noise issues and a third police visit in three months).

In the meantime — ha! what a concept, these entire three months have been a state of “in the meantime … trying to survive the streaming noises from above!” — but anyway, as I was writing …

In the meantime, I will continue to do what I’ve been doing. Praying. Praying for peace. Praying for a resolution. Praying for peace and harmony to be introduced at this property. And for mindfulness of others in a community to prevail.

Whether they go and better tenants move in … or whether they are forced to learn mindfulness by way of the landlord … or I am forced to leave, defeated and powerless to create the serene environment that I need for myself here … I cannot know. It is too early to say.

AND in the meantime, right after this, I am sitting down to create a vision board. I create them regularly and usually at a new moon (as we just had Thursday … so this vision board’s coming a little late).

It was only after being VERY rudely awakened by the neighbors this morning that I decided I’m going to do this month’s vision board after all.

Not hard to guess what it will feature! I’ve lost my grip on that proverbial end of the rope. It’s become a frayed mess anyhow — was continuing to unravel before my very ears and eyes anyways. I need a new approach. I need to find my way through this gawd-awful thicket of other people’s inconsiderations and uncarings.

I don’t know what that’s gonna look like until I sit down on the floor with my candle and calming Buddhist / Asian / Zen / meditative music and create the vision board. (I never know what a vision board will look like! That’s part of the Flow of creating one!)

I know this is a long post. I don’t expect anyone to read it in full — or at all. Since comments are few to none, I’m not believing that anyone’s reading my posts as it is! Which I suppose is “license” to write whatever the fuck you want! But that’s another topic.

This had to be written, not for any alleged reader. (I don’t blog for that reason regardless.) It had to be written: for me. For my heart. My mind. My spirit. In the depths of fatigue and exhaustion at the continued noise and mindlessness (as compared to mindfulness) of the neighbors above.

I need help and I need support from above (and from the one, maybe two or three people on earth who can truly give it).

I need to find the path that will lead me through this overgrown field of tall pointy weeds and foxtails that burrow into the clothing and painfully into the skin.

I need to find the path from these fairly tortuous — and certainly obnoxious! — “neighborly” conditions into the clearing.

As I prepare now to create my vision board, I ask for the presence of angels, guides, divine beings, loving beings, Archangel Michael, Archangel Raphael and Ganapatei to be with me. In my studio (that I’m struggling so to make into a home) and at my side. Every step of the way.

Please make your steps gentle, kind and loving. Not the thunderous ones from Apt. A above!! That’s my final request, in sincerity and levity.

Thank you.

And may all movement from this time forward be for the good of all. The peace of all. The comfort and relaxation and serenity of all. Amen.

Bring in ‘da landlord, bring in ‘da peace

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!

The Clomp & Clack Couple kick it up a notch. Or 6.

I express my gratitude to the police department of Prescott.

Last night, the upstairs neighbors overstepped boundaries of neighborliness, consideration and civility. I endured the booming audio, conversations and activity for two hours.

When at 11 p.m. there were no signs of volume and noise receding, I telephoned the police, explained the situation and requested they pay a friendly visit and request that the noise be turned down.

At the officer’s request, I gave him my name and requested that the source of the call remain confidential for risk of repercussions. I believe it’s standard police policy; however, I want to take no chances or be at risk of retaliation. I don’t know who these neighbors are or what they’re capable of, only that they behave badly and are oblivious to those around them.

I thanked the officer genuinely, went to my bedroom and shut the door for some comparative quiet. In short order, the ruckus and booming audio were lowered.

I felt so badly for my neighbors who also live below them and residents next door. Sound carries. Sound carries through floors, especially wooden. It carries through the air, especially this dry crisp air. Be it the stereo, TV or video games, be it her shriekings, his cheers or their conversations, they carry, pulsating into surrounding spaces, disrupting the lives or sleep of others.

If a week with the new neighbors has made any one thing clear, it’s that they’re assholes and oblivious. Obliviousness can take many forms. It can mean someone’s intentionally being unaware, looking the other way out of disregard, disrespect, arrogance. Or it may mean someone is so self-absorbed or -involved that others cease to exist.

Whatever the root causes, the Clomp and Clack couple above have been nothing but loud, self-involved and oblivious to all around them since arriving about a week ago.

I contemplated before calling the police. I contemplated the best action in a situation of over-the-top noise persisting deeper into night.

I (already in pajamas) considered knocking on their door and requesting they turn it down. I considered doing nothing. I considered writing a simple informational email to property manager. I weighed each option, each potential pro and con. None seemed the right action.

Then the police came to mind. I do not want interaction with the neighbors above. I don’t want problems. I don’t want to meet them or “bring them into my life” beyond the obvious (they’re already well in my life by virtue of their behaviors!).

I’m still keyed up … and unhealed … by the neighbors in the last residence. After that experience, I trust NO ONE in a living environment to be sane or fair or reasonable or thoughtful. Their lack of goodwill or simple kindness really stung. Burned. The upstairs neighbors could be just as bad … or worse!

It AIN’T worth the risk or trouble. Better to lie low and let the authorities handle it. Authorities whose job it is to maintain or restore public peace.

So that’s what I did. The right course of action in a situation made over-the-top and crappy by upstairs neighbors.

Don’t let the assholes ruin a perfectly good place for you.
Don’t let the assholes ruin a perfectly good place for you.
Don’t let the assholes ruin a perfectly good place for you.

My motto my mantra guidance from spirit.

You can’t change assholes. Let them be.

You can change only your response. And when matters get out of hand, as they did last night, involve the authorities whose work it is is to do what was called for and needed: Reduce the noise. Restore public peace.

Ah, the joys of apartment living!

Once again, a big thank you to the police, the officer who took the call and made the visit. I’m so grateful that you took action for the good of all in the immediate vicinity who are impacted by the actions of a few.

I keep praying for the strength to … not endure their awful behaviors, rather to move forward to a better me and a better life … one day free of all intrusions, all interference, all burden brought into the home by the baddies, the meanies and the plain obnoxious.
It’s no way to live, oppressed and suppressed and trodden upon by others.

God grant me the strength to MOVE THROUGH for my own good and growth so that one day I WILL have a home. That is mine. No neighbors. No stompers. No assholes. Only goodness, kindness and good souls. Help me get there. Thank you. Amen.

Meet the Clomp and Clack Couple

Not Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers. Rather, Clomp and Clack the Couple Above.

The moniker for the active couple in the apartment with wood floors above, described prior as an elephant herd of two. (No offense to elephants.)

For those unfamiliar, Click and Clack are two brotherly heaps of hilarity named Ray and Tom who host a most informative nationwide radio show called “Car Talk.” Their unique brand of wit, sarcasm, intelligence and mechanical savvy make ’em certainly among the most sought-after advisors for callers with car woes. (I tried to get on once; not a chance!)

Clomp and Clack the Couple — so named because he CLOMPS CLOMPS CLOMPS and she CLACKS CLACKS CLACKS in high heels and hard-soled ladies shoes — have quieted down some in the past coupla days, only because they finally finished moving in.

If thumping and scraping of wood against wood are any indication, they hauled in enormous amounts of furniture, including one pieceĀ that required assembly with a hammer based on ears-deafening and brain-nullifying volume and force of pounding.

POUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUND. {pause} POUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUND.

Talk about a pounding headache! {not theirs.}

Furniture items that included something thatĀ fell to the floor with a CRASHING shock and then proceeded to roll.

ROLLROLLROLLLROLLLLROLLLLROLLROLL across the floor, a decorative ball, loosened perhaps from a piece of furniture, somersaulting with the velocity of a ball heaved by world champ bowler Bill O’Neill.

Whatever the item, the CRASH and reverberations into their wood floor unleashed such the torrent of shockwaves across my ceiling and into my eardrums that I sprungĀ a foot up inĀ my hands-and-knees position on the floor. A linoleum floor I was liberating from apparently 10 years of ground-in dirt.

I don’t have their nice fancy wooden floors but if I did, I certainly wouldn’t wear shoes with neighbors below. Actually, I wouldn’t wear shoes at all, neighbors or no, but that’s really not the point. Point is, I’m considerate of others … and others aren’t.

The Clomp and Clack Couple are a couple on the go. Go go go.

Between ’em, when they’re not shifting and dragging furniture, stomping or shouting “huzzah!” (I can only hope they’re watching TV sports), they’re working irregular schedules.

I’d think they’re employed based on their youthful age, evidenced by strides replete with vim and vigor, rent and a verrrrry expensive BMW (?). Their second car’s a low-rent hillbilly spankin’ bright blue big pickup. These two ain’t hurtin’ for $.

Someone’s always home. When he’s gone, she’s there. When she’s gone, he’s there. Sometimes they’re both there. I’ve yet to experience their apartment still and silent for any duration. And since she’s most always there — as identified by the comparatively lighter marching and Clack Clack Clack of ladies footwear — wouldn’t surprise if she works at home.

Oh ode to joy!

COV_GagMe

Way I see it, I can be miserable or I can make light of the situation with the oblivious couple; if I don’t, I may shoot someone. Or, better still, power up my trusty Craftsman — only after inserting the biggest bit, of course — and begin drilling, well, let’s call ’em airholes into my ceiling, their floor

As explanation to the landlord police, I could claim my apartment’s small and stuffy (it is) and woefully lacking in circulation and cross breezes (all true) plus some parts get little to no light (again, true).

“Really, officer, have a look inside. I was just tryin’ to create some air flow. {cough cough} It’s so {cough} stuffy and {cough} stagnant-y in here. {cough} We each and all need oxygen to {cough} live. {cough cough}”

Don’t see the cough clause holding up in court.

Rather than drastic measures to cope with the Clomp and Click Couple, I’m opting for the path of peace, like mentioned in post prior.

Too, I find keeping busy, listening to music at a skull-crunching reasonable pleasant volume and consuming copious moderate amounts of alcohol to be tickets to the Peace Train.

Call me Yusuf Islam. Just don't call me late for the train.

Call me Yusuf Islam. Just don’t call me late for the train.

Oh how pissed off proud would be Cat Stevens if he knew of my shameless pilfering of his renowned song title.

I bet he doesn’t wear shoes on wood floors!

Elephant herds aren’t limited to the wilds & safaris

Evidently I exchanged a neighbor dude with a TV whose volume tests the sound barrier for a herd of elephants.

A herd of two.

The apartment above above has wooden floors. A couple lives there. A man who marches with the heavy gait of a Russian soldier trading through snow.

From the footsteps, he: a large or heavy or simply forceful man Active. Always moving. Young and possibly athletic.

She: average build and height. High heels or lady footwear with hard soles. If he’s the Russian marching soldier, she’s his dainty sidekick — though there’s little dainty about her footsteps. She’s active and young as well.

Mid-30s, both, I guess.

And both: oblivious. O-B-L-I-V-I-O-U-S to the volume of their footsteps, the effect of their hyperactive heavy walking to and fro. Directly above me.

I’ve slept in my new place two nights. All of two nights. Merely two nights.

I’ve got stuff to do — primarily deep cleaning. Hours of dedicated meticulous cleaning and scrubbing of every nook and cranny, some of which haven’t seen a sponge and cleanser for a guesstimated 5 years. I can’t leave. I need to be here.

Both nights I’ve been bombarded by the herd of elephants. His thundering footsteps, her “dainty” high heels. Both running back and forth above me.
Rarely stopping, only pausing through the day and evening.

Though I don’t know their exact floor plan, their activities, sound and limited outside view of their apartment point to their primary living quarters and central path through their space directly above me.

His raucousy cheers suggest he’s a football fan.

Her high-pitched shoutings suggest she doesn’t need to go to him or have him come to her when they communicate.

Based purely on sounds, I picture them a young couple from California. Or some other liberal state whose masses are predominately and unique self-centered, selfish and oblivious, unaware and unconcerned about cares and concerns other than their own.

It’s taking every bit of mettle, every cell of patience and every iota of determination NOT to say anything as I clean. To not knock on their door, introduce myself as their downstairs neighbor and request awareness that their every sound and footstep are transmitted and amplified x 1000 through the wooden floors.

Thank GOD at least that their bedroom evidently isn’t above mine in addition to all the rest!! Their sex sounds through the night: a fucking tortuous NO!!!!!!!!

Last night, only my second here, is noisier than the first.

I’m on my hands and knees for six hours, scrubbing out years of ground-in dirt in linoleum.

If you thought I was gonna say on my hands and knees praying, you wouldn’t be entirely off-base!

I am praying! Praying for their noise to stop. Praying for peace.

Then LOUD banging. Pounding. Poundpoundpoundpoundpound! Like a piece of furniture being constructed or deconstructed.

Then walkwalkwalkwalkwalk that-a-way. The herd of one in motion.

Relief. Momentarily. Then stompstompstompstompstomp back this-a-way. The herd returns.

Furniture scraping against wood. Heavy dragging. Pushing. Squeaking. ThuDThuDthuD.

WHOMP!!!

Crash. Something falling and rolling across the floor.

ARRRRGHHHHHHH!!! Three hours of this! My nerves are saturated. I jump up from my cleaning, literally. I jump outta my skin. I can’t take any more!!!!

I wanna flee. Find some peace. Go for a beer. Or to a motel.

One word keeps hammering away in my consciousness. OBLIVIOUS. They’re obvious to the noise they’re making. Oblivious to the nature of wooden floors to transit and amplify sounds. Oblivious to the impact that they and their activities are having on the neighbors below. Not just me. There’s also a couple beside me.

Were I grinding them, my teeth would shatter for the stress and the DIStress. OBLIVIOUS noisy neighbors.

Still.

I try to be still. Remember the hells I went through at my last place with the noisy TV dude and the oppression.

I say nothing. Do nothing. I’ve lived here but two days. Don’t start trouble. Don’t invite trouble. Don’t instigate or initiate trouble with the neighbors upstairs.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU’RE DEALING WITH.

If nothing else, I learned that from my last residence. People who appear normal: aren’t. People who may appear civil, caring and understanding: ANYTHING BUT.

Four hours I put up with the elephant herd of two. Put up with the stomach twistings and turnings. The aggravation. The obliviousness. That aggravates me most of all, even more than the noise.

Around 9 p.m., the thunder comes to a rest. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Finally. I can breathe now. Now I can breathe.

This is an old building. Scant to no insulation between the wood floors and my ceiling. (Why my floors are linoleum and carpet is a “mystery.”)

Their EVERY move is amplified x 1,000.

I wish they had a clue. I wish they had awareness. I wish they had sensitivity. I wish they knew that others live around them and specifically below them. I wish they knew that they’re not the center of the universe, only theirs. I wish they’d think about the impact of their marching and high heels on the neighbors below.

I wish they’d be sensitive instead of oblivious. Aware of others instead of just themselves.

I’m gonna keep my mouth shut and keep praying for a resolution that doesn’t involve knocking on their door. I can’t trust they’ll be sane or understanding or cooperative.

I can trust only one power and that power is invisible and greater than theirs, noisy oblivious neighbors they be. That’s the power of my prayer for the universe to resolve this, peacefully and promptly.

Peacefully and promptly … peacefully and promptly … peacefully and promptly … ahhhhhhhhhhhh ………..

zen peace

Reflections at the exit door

“It breaks my heart to see you go,” said the landlord today.

“You’re a good tenant,” he said another time. “I’ll miss you.”

All well and good and no doubt he’s sincere. The landlord isn’t a bad man. Had things gone differently, we could’ve become friends as landlord-tenant.

Yet, on the cusp of my departure, one that he helped orchestrate in significant measure, he’s speaking as if it wasn’t his doing or choice.

I know others were involved in pushing me out. A few residents who are chronic complainers, who have long tenancies and/or longstanding ties and friendships with the landlord who lives on site.

I know too that the owner, a nameless and faceless person to me, had an enormous if not final say in getting me out.

I know nothing about the owner except what I’ve been told by the landlord and one tenant. “She’s difficult to work with. She knows people in town. She’s very well connected.”

I get the sense in conversations with others that she has no interest in her tenants, fairness or justness. That her chief concern is a hand’s-off property ownership, smooth operations while she’s away (which is most of the time) and an income that’s steady and reliable.

She’s not hurting for money. Based on one story the landlord told me, she screwed him over a bit I think. My sense is she’s neither warm nor fuzzy. All things heard, “difficult” seems the word for her; I might add “stingy” but that’s based purely on hearsay and impressions.

Where does that leave me as I prepare for departure in three days?

Angry at the residents. Angry at the landlord. And angry at a faceless nameless owner whose say in this matter may have been final; however, just and fair it was not.

People here talked behind my back. They spoke ill of me without ever having met me. Complaints were issued, to their friend the landlord, possibly if not probably phoned into the owner.

The whole thing, the way this went down, stinks of a network of others’ connections in which I had no say, voice or input.

When issues came to a head, I cited a laundry list my immediate corrective actions to any problem and requested that the landlord speak to the owner on my behalf to delay or rescind the moving orders.

He didn’t.

When he didn’t, I requested the owner’s number so that I may speak with her. Tell her my side of the story and my experience. I knew she wasn’t getting it. I knew she was getting news colored and slanted by chronic complainers and a landlord who can be really unreasonable and irrational.

He refused.

Not a single person stepped forward on my behalf and when I tried to, the door was slammed in my face.

So this “I’m sorry to see you go, you’re a good tenant” tune rings on some levels false — or at least sour. The landlord COULD have stopped this. He could have acted differently, could have chosen another path. He could’ve fixed this.

But he didn’t.

Like each of us, he too is a person with limitations. His perceptions are colored by his own past and experiences. He too has his blind spots; perhaps they’re bigger than most.

That doesn’t make what he (or his clique of residents) right. Doesn’t quote-unquote let him off the hook in the high court of justice and fairness.

I got the short end of the stick — if indeed a stick was even offered. I have my doubts.

I’m still niggled by this whole thing. Still processing. Still angry and even though I know I need to JUST LET IT GO, learn and move on, it still gets my craw.

If I could leave anything with the landlord, it’d be to leave with goodwill and good wishes for him as a landlord in a job he loves — kudos for that! — and wishes for illumination and greater tolerance as a person.

He DIDN’T make the choices that could’ve extended my stay and put all this to rest. And while I bear the brunt of his choices and blind spots and overriding unjustness of it all, truth is, as things were and other players in this story unchanging, I had no place here. The residents (chronic complainers) aren’t my milieu. They’re not my tribe (nowhere near).

Good or bad, people are who they are. Through it all and despite it all, I choose to learn and grow, which eventually, in one way or another, would’ve sounded the death knell for me here in the building. They did me a favor; a part of me truly recognizes that.

So yes, he’s sad and sorry to see me go. Yes, others, fairly or unfairly, deservedly or undeservedly, had a hand and say in the matter. And yes, he could’ve chosen differently and spared me the hassle and work of moving at this time.

But good came of it too. I learned more about myself, felt my lifelong unresolved and painful domestic issues even more acutely. I leave more illuminated and more knowing and wiser to my needs and issues than three months ago when I moved in.

Making this, all told, a bittersweet story with a positive ending because I choose it to be so.

And I’d wish likewise for the tenants (especially the chronic complainers and bullies) and the landlord.

Three days — not even — and counting until I’m fully in my new place behind the library on the hill!

on candles, complainers and cooperation

A lotta bucks flew past me yesterday.

And I don’t mean the four-legged sort. Rather, the sort in the bank.

The deposit for the studio on the hill behind the library is in, which both holds the place until the lease is signed and removes it from the rental market. A considerable sum it is too. Ouch. Moving into apartments is not cheap, what with the deposit and non-refundable cleaning and administrative fees.

Speaking of cleaning, this property management company does something new to my ears. The clean team employs a black light in cleaning carpets between tenants. I first thought: “Wow, that’s intense and exacting cleaning.”

Then the reason came clear upon reading the lease. “Extra charges may be assessed for stains, wax removal, pet odors, etc. upon vacating.”

Ahhhh!

Best not spill any coffee or wine there! And since the place is carpeted, save for the kitchen & bathroom, I’d best designate the kitchen with its linoleum floor the room of activity!

A buddy rents from the same property manager, that’s how I found out about them during my search. He’d said that they’re very strict and the fees quick and high for late rent payment, violations and such.

My experience to date confirms that. They don’t mess around. The paperwork, including the lease that I’ve reviewed (but not yet signed), spells out everything clearly. I’s are dotted and t’s crossed, that’s for certain.

Not complaining. It’s how it should be and I like that the conditions and terms are clearly defined and documented, likewise the consequences of violations. You can tell this large property management company has been doing this a long time and likely is no stranger to attempted lawsuits. The handiwork of lawyers is evident in all the documentation.

What isn’t on the lease — which is as equally important as what is — is a ban on candles. I actually checked on that before I committed to the space.

My current lease bans, in addition to smoking, “incense and candles and anything else that could damage carpets or walls.”

Incense I can understand; the odors can be very hard to remove from walls or carpet.

Candles on the other hand …

I’m intelligent enough to know not to place a burning candle beside a wall. Intelligent enough to know not to leave a candle burning unattended.

Early in my tenancy, I got rapped for burning candles. These were the tealights inside votive glass holders set on a window sill. They were neither near a wall nor carpet, therefore endangering neither, and therefore did not truly violate the lease.

However, in the eyes of the landlord and subset of tenants with whom he has friendly and/or long ties, I was already being branded an uncooperative troublemaker.

The truth contrary was irrelevant. My immediate and cooperative corrective action to any admonition or information from the landlord (i.e., no candles allowed including tiny ones inside votive glass, after which I immediately switched fully to LEDs) was not regarded or appreciated.

Perception is everything, they say, even when it’s a lie or untruth. The landlord and few tenants had it in their mind that I was an uncooperative troublemaker.

Outside the landlord, not one knew me.

Not one had met me.

Not one approached me for my side of the story.

Not one stepped forward on my behalf. Not one — namely the landlord who did have the power to change the course of events — put in a good word for me to the absentee owner who no doubt heard nothing but complaints about me.

When I requested the owner’s phone number so that I could share my experience and side of the story, essentially speaking up on my behalf, I was denied.

That’s when I knew that the only solution was to proceed with the move.

Legally I could’ve fought it. When I asked the landlord several times on what grounds my monthly lease (leases here are month-to-month) was not being renewed, he had no answer. Merely repeated: “We’re not renewing your lease.”

It was personal. I knew it was personal. He knew it was personal. And personal doesn’t stand up in court.

But why take on that legal battle?

Why take on that stress and high costs? Even with law and right on my side, why invest in a battle to extend my stay in an unfair and unwelcoming environment with chronic complainers who’ve displayed no interest in meeting in the middle and genuine problem-solving? Tenants & to great extent a landlord who’ve displayed zero recognition or appreciation for my character and immediate responses to ANY problem or complaint?

I don’t belong here. Don’t want to be in this climate. Don’t feel it’ll ever support me, listen or care to hear what I have to say.

Groups — even small groups of two or three — are more powerful than one individual. That can be good when the cause is positive and bad when used for ill or directed against another(s).

Guess that’s all I have to say on that today.

On a positive note, I’m moving in a matter of days. I’m anxious because I’ve been stung and somewhat traumatized here. I’m anxious because of the unrealness of this residence. Even my writer’s imagination wouldn’t have come up with this!

However, the next setting IS a better one. For starters, it’s a triplex rather than an enclosed complex of 18 residents and each tenant’s door opens into the outdoors rather than shared hallway. Better setup from the get-go and hopefully bodes well for positive tenancy.

This writing reminds me that I need to keep letting go and to keep forgiving these tenants, the landlord, myself and this situation. Better lies ahead. I just know it. I just need to clear the inner space and prepare to receive the good that awaits and is promised with this move. In four days and counting! šŸ™‚