Talking turkey? Nah. Talking gratitude.

There’s much I’m thankful for today.

The dozen gray quail just racing across the road, their short skinny little legs galloping like high-voltage electric wires.

The music by Lhasa de Sela wafting from the stereo speakers.

The second cup of morning coffee, reheated, I confess. Coffee brewed with a tea kettle atop a stove often takes me back to the many cups brewed with a single propane burner in a forest, a desert, a campsite during a road trip or homelessness.

I’m grateful for the town I live in, the state I live in (Arizona) and my Subaru of 13 years who made it possible. Makes all my traveling and movement, as integral to my nature as oxygen, possible.

I’m grateful for the buds I’ll meet up with later tonight for music at the saloon. Our weekly Thursday thang. I’m grateful the saloon’s open on Thanksgiving! Then again, pubs and eateries do brisk business on the holiday!

I’m grateful for the sun pushing its way through the semi-stormy clouds.

There was a day — about every day collectively for five years — when the sun was rarely seen. When its appearance for 10 minutes, before it was swallowed by Gray, Cold Wet Gray, was celebrated! When my bones were constantly damp and cold, when you layered-up and wore coats even in the summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Today I’m working a half day. My boss asked me a few days ago whether I’d mind coming in to run the board from noon to 4 p.m. I don’t mind! Not a whit!

Matter of fact, I’m grateful I get to work at a job I love and enjoy! “Even on Thanksgiving.”

Part of the gratitude is admittedly rooted in many Thanksgivings spent at jobs I detested. Loathed. Would rather not be doing. Jobs where I’d rather be anywhere else but then had no where else to be and no one to spend it with anyways. Save strangers in a bar.

Because I’m quite detail-oriented and meticulous, I tend to lose sight of the forest for the trees. When I zoom the camera back for a wide shot, it’s abundantly clear how far I’ve come, how much my life has improved, incrementally, gradually.

The journey’s been like pushing a boulder forward, true. I’m stubborn (and not unlike my dad — hi dad!) I’d like to learn how to make it less of an arduous exhausting push, more of a glide. ūüôā

After work, I’m coming home to resume crafting curtain panels for the new windows (recently installed by the landlord) that I love — and a huge improvement they are! The window treatments are the final big beautification/repair project in the new place — well, 3-months new.

There’s also writing and assorted other projects on my plate — that btw is turkey-free. When I accepted the extra shift at the radio station, I gave up attending a Thanksgiving potluck. I’ll miss seeing people I wish to see; however, it’s a trade I was willing to make. The answer’s always yes! when the station’s involved, when opportunities for extra shifts is floated my way.

I’m grateful that the frequency of the fill-in shifts has increased. I dream of more becoming steadily mine; a coworker looks poised to release one so I may be on the brink of more, yey!

Odd though it may sound, I’m grateful for the job at Fry’s market that I want to release and replace with better. There’ve been issues brewing that suggest we may part ways soon.

I don’t want to leave on bad terms, whatever happens. Time’ll tell after the holiday how it’ll shake down.

I’m grateful for so much, I could go on — and on! Last but certainly not least, I’m truly grateful that I moved from my former digs beneath S. & Y., aka the Clack & Clomp Couple.

While I was thrown a curveball and cringed when told they weren’t renewing my lease, I really did want to move to get away from the entire situation, primarily the upstairs neighbors.

The search for new digs was a grand chore (summer season, influx of returning students, increased rents, etc.). In the end, it all worked out. It really did. I’m so much happier — calmer — domestically now than before. It’s a far better setup for me than the last one — though I do miss living in the heart of downtown.

Well, I could go on like I said. Fortunately for any reader, work beckons! Which segues to gratefulness, again. For my readers. Be they 1 or 100, I’m truly grateful when anyone reads my words! That is a gift to me.

May blessings abound wherever ye be on this American Thanksgiving.

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A Nightmare, Shared

It’s comforting somehow.

I just gotta.

I gotta share this. Been meaning to for some time and now’s the time on the cusp of this move.

My neighbor — my good neighbor to my side, not above — and I got to yakking a few months ago. He’s this young Rastafarian-lookin’¬†dude who’s lived here a few years so he’s seen folks come and go in my space.

The tenant before me was an older man in his 50s or 60s, he said. “I’m not good with ages.” ¬†The man was apparently retired or semi-retired so home a lot.

And, like me, was bothered by others’ sounds in these tight (and poorly-constructed) quarters.

At that time, S. & Y. — aka the current Clack & Clomp Couple — didn’t live in the above Apt.¬†A. It¬†was a man in a wheelchair. And he was home like all the time.

The sounds of this man wheeling all around the wood floors drove the elderly man below crazy. So much so that he had to move.

Now, anyone who’s never lived below wood floors can’t imagine what even normal footsteps sound like. They’re thunderous. Like a herd of elephants, as the cliche goes. Wood is an energy conductor that transmits and amplifies x 1,000 every sound.

This becomes doubly problematic in housing when the wood is thin and/or insulation lacking. I guesstimate a foot or two of air space is all that separates the upstairs floor from the ceiling below.

So the body weight that our feet bear combined with the WAY of walking — heavy- or light-footed — are inescapable realities¬†of wooden floors.

Now, the combined weight of the man and his wheelchair AND the motions … I TOTALLY TOTALLY got it when my good neighbor told me about it!! My heart went out to the man in the apartment below (and the man above in the chair).

It just reaffirms what I’ve been shouting to the world. Living under wood floors is HELL!! Unless you’re a dolt with muted to deadened awareness of your environment, you cannot help BUT hear!

I suffer much more than the average person because I can’t stand people above me, never mind macho violent dicks (and their submissive mousey girlfriends).

The older fellow here before me didn’t stay long. Around three months, the good neighbor thought.

I made it nine months with TWO people above. Worthy of a bronze or perhaps even silver medal, no?

In conclusion, I’m in the same camp now with friend Ed. Who after a few¬†times of living under wood floors WILL NOT DO IT ANYMORE. He just won’t. He won’t even LOOK at a place if it’s under someone else.

I get it. TOTALLY get it.

And to that former older¬†fellow who too was driven out by noise, whoever and wherever ye be, I’d like to say: I hear you.

I feel your pain. I know. I understand. Even when the rest of the world tells you you’re crazy. You are not.

What is crazy are these crappy conditions that bring & amplifying every SOUND above into YOUR space.

I hear you, Mr. Unknown Tenant.

And that must feel good to you, to be heard, above the din from above!

I hope that wherever ye live now that it is peaceful … serene … calm … comforting. You deserve it. You earned it.

I wish  for myself now the same.

Five days until the move … seven days until I’m completely out and this is finally behind me.

But who’s counting? ūüėČ

Counting the Days Until the Nightmare Ends

It won’t be long now.

Thwack Thwack Thwack.

The incessant dronish sound like a broken belt striking the underside of a car hood. Like the relentless ticking of a timer on a bomb.

Eight more days.

THUMP THUMP THUMP.

The upstairs neighbors are home. Their every footstep is amplified x 1,000 and transmitted into and through my apartment.

Into and through by body. Into and through my head.

CLACK CLACKCLACK CLACK.

Who’s wearing the shoes with hard soles? We talked about this, S. and Y. — the couple upstairs — and I. At length. On my birthday in March.

I knew he doesn’t care. She appeared to at the time during that discussion about their noises and possible solutions. Her actions are reason to reconsider how caring she really is.

“We take our shoes off,” she’d said.

Uhhhh, no. You don’t. You do not. Shall I record the sounds for you?

Pages upon pages have been written primarily in my journal but here too about this Nightmare on A. Street. {A = the first letter of my street name.}

That’s due to change — officially — in about 48 hours. I meet with K. to sign the lease and hand over a deposit Monday.

It’s not until next Saturday — a week from now — that I move my stuff in.

I’ve already reserved the truck — Penske.

I’ve already lined up the helpers through my health practitioner-galpal.

I could do the move myself.

Every item in my place I moved in myself with no help. Hence I can move each out. Dragging across the pavement if need be.

This time, I’m choosing to receive help. I’m doing that because:

(A) my injured hurting shoulders cannot withstand heavy lifting.

(B) I have to learn how to ask for help when it’s needed. Receive help. I have to unlearn what my father beat into me: DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF. Repeat: EVERYTHING. YOUR. SELF.

It’s an ongoing life lesson and I’m far behind in learning it! So far behind. So asking for help WHEN I TRULY NEED IT is a small step in a journey of change.

THWACK THWACK THWACK

It’s Saturday morning.

I rise Saturday and Sunday mornings with mitigated hope. Hope mitigated by disappointments. Anger. Rage. Like the rage of a caged tiger who needs to set free, released back into the wild that is his homestead.

Hope: for peace. For space. For solitude. For freedom from the Clack & Clomp Couple above.

Disappointment: They’re home. S. and Y.

Damn I wish they’d go away for the weekend! Or even the day. It’s summer. They’re young — 27-ish. They shouldn’t be sitting around like old folks in a rest home!

It’s only when they go that I get peace.

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

That’s him. I recognize his footsteps.

He’s a dick. A thug. I can’t stand him. I know who he is by the energy in his footsteps. I can tell. I feeeeeeeel it.

THWACK THWACK THWACK. Their swamp cooler’s on.

Along with their heavy walking, another indication they’re home.

The thwacking’s immediately above my head. I can’t escape it or flee it except by leaving. Which I do A LOT A LOT A LOT.

The TWACKING’s everywhere. It swallows up all the air on my patio and inside my apartment.

“My” apartment. Ha! I don’t live here. Never have. Courtesy of naive S. and her thug macho boyfriend Y.

Eight More Days

Just eight days until the end of this 9-month nightmare.

And it HAS been a nightmare. From Day 1 when they moved in; simultaneously, so did they.

THWACK THWACK THWACK.

I put on Pandora — Simon & Garfunkel’s now playing — and place a a speaker {a beautiful speaker it is too!} beside the window adjoining the patio in an effort to drown out the godddamn fucking THWACKING of their swamp cooler.

It’s having no effect. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

The metallic THWACKING is that loud. That obnoxious. That driving. And that echoing as it bounces off the walls of the next building.

ARRRRRGHHHHH!

It’s like listening to a jackhammer in slow motion for hours on ends.

Hours and hours, over and over again. THWACK THWACK THWACK! Either the upstairs neighbors don’t know. How can they not know??! It’s THEIR SWAMP COOLER!!!

Or they don’t care.

Bingo.

Dream On!

I want to sit on my tiny patio and listen to: nothing.

“Nothing” as in:

* The air flowing through the thick canopy of the giant tree here. I shall miss this grandfather tree.

* The beeping of horns, the passing roar of a motorcycle, a dog barking, the courthouse bells chiming on the hour and half-hour, the live music or cheering crowds during an event at the courtyard square — a weekly, nee daily, occurrence during the fine weather!

* The sounds of life.

Instead:

* the all-invading dominating sound: THWACK THWACK THWACK.

Fuck. Them.

Eight days.

That doesn’t mean that in eight days, their sounds leave my life. No.

I’m moving most of my stuff then.

But I the person shall remain at the soon-to-be former apartment for some time for the final tidy-up. That’s another story. Another post.

It’s Pierce Property. They ding you for nail holes! Nail hole: $10 repair. Another nail hole: $10 repair.

Pierce looks for ways to keep your deposit. They’re famous for it — in not a good way!

If they don’t find them, they’ll invent them. So: TAKE PHOTOS! They’ll be your only evidence that the apartment WASN’T left in the condition that they claim.

My Closing Thoughts

I’m sorry I lived here. Not because the space is terrible or ghetto or the worst I’ve endured. It’s not.

I’m sorry I lived here as long as I did — nine months — because nothing good came of it. Not really. Not for me.

I stayed a few months too long. Shoulda been out after about 6 months. Around April.

Of course, hindsight’s 20-20.

I was still riding the optimistic that things could work out after the long talk about noise with the neighbors in March.

My good nature fucking got the best of me again.

As did my need to stay put for a year. A veritable lifetime to me, who’s moved how many times now? Like 53? I’ve lost count.

I wanted to believe that S. and Y. would do the right thing. The considerate thing. The neighborly thing. The good thing.

They didn’t. Especially he didn’t.

He’s a dick. A thug. A macho asshole.

And she’s in love and blind.

“One cannot sew a silken purse from a sow’s ear.”

Eight More Days

Eight more days of Thwacking and Thumping and “I Exist and You Don’t Matter” disregard from him. From them.

This is less a blog post than a journal entry.

Oh well.

A part of me feels like I’m losing my home. Understandable. I’ve poured enormous energies into making this space as positive as it can be.

And as I can be within it.

Yes, it’s a pairing. Spaces are no different from individuals and the relationships formed with them are real. So very real.

But it’s not my home. Not only because it’s a rental.

It’s not my home because it could never become so. Not under S. and Y.

One week from this very moment, a rental Penske truck shall be in the driveway.

Three or four of us shall be loading my laughable amount of furniture — laughable as in hardly any! — and boxes into the truck. Destination: a few miles away.

The nightmare’s closing.

The courthouse bells are just now chiming … 1 … 2 … 3 .. to the noon hour.

I’m Sorry

I’m sorry I must leave you behind, birds and hummers whom I feed so very joyfully.

I’m sorry I cannot be here to continue to enjoy your throaty song, summer cicadas.

I’m sorry, Apt. B, for the neglect from former tenants (not me) and any in the future.

And I’m sorry, Apt. B., that you must endure, as have I, the truly obnoxious and self-centered and even violent footsteps and energies of the residents above. I feel your weariness. I feel you beaten down, as am I.

It is {past} time to go.

Waiting for Godot. I mean, the green light.

It’s not a done deal. Yet.

But odds are that it’ll become so soon — certainly before month’s end.

I speak of course of my new place.

Searching Searching Searching …

To say the search for new housing has been a challenge would be a gross understatement! A challenge on every level: availability, affordability, cost, competition.

It appears that the 1-1/2 month search {egads!} is at last over {!!) and the rental mobile home’ll be it.

While it’s not everything I’d want or envisioned {literally} on my vision boards, it’ll do at this time.

One thing’s certain: It’ll be an adventure!

I’ve never lived in a mobile home park before! I did spend some length of time in an RV when my dad and stepmom lived the RV lifestyle for some years. That was a good hoot for them! For me too! Was amazing how the three of us made it work in a little space!

Anywho, after the RV experience plus 10+ years in Japan, I’m no stranger to small spaces! Not. At. All! My anti-clutter nazi is more than adept and practiced at what most Americans would consider abhorrent: NO place to put anything! haha You may definitely call me Ms. McGyver in what I make shortcomings work!

Soooo … there’s {mitigated} relief in having found a place! Especially in the most arduous season of space-hunting. That it took more than a month speaks to the severity of the search, not my lack of dedication and efforts!

P.S. I hope NEVER to have to look for a new space or move in July again!!!

Bittersweet Bye-Bye

Though there are positives and attachments to the space that I’m leaving — the sweet — there’s also rage and relief in putting the upstairs neighbors S. & Y. behind me — the bitter. I’ve penned and/or blogged voluminously on the torture of being beneath this couple, their sounds, wooden floors, thwacking swamp cooler (that’s still not fixed!).

It was bad from Day One, 9 months ago, and NEVER improved except during their all-too-brief holiday absences.

A part of me wants to give ’em the big ol’ finger with a shout of FU! when I drive away for the last time!

Another part of me wants to sob for what I endured.

Another part of me wants to shoot, with a rifle, holes into their floors (my ceiling) and yell: “Get some fucking rugs and make it easier on the poor soul stuck living under you!!”

Another part wants to just wash my hands of the whole miserable affair and move on to bigger and better — which to my definition means domestic peace without assholes in my space.

And he is an asshole, Y. the upstairs neighbor. Don’t care to elaborate; just leave it at that.

Gracious Goodbye

And the really big part of me wants to — and DOES — say thank you to the space. {p.s. It’s not its fault that it too is stuck beneath BAD CONSTRUCTION!}

I do appreciate the space and I thank the space for allowing me to be there for 9 months. I’m also sorry for the neglect at the hands of many tenants before me.

I know my studio feels the effects of all the good energies I poured into it. The deep cleaning of EVERY SINGLE SURFACE. The scrubbing away, on my hands and knees, of a decade of ground-in dirt into the kitchen linoleum.

Many are the things, big and small, that I brought into the space to raise it from a past of tenants’ neglect and unappreciation into the best it could be. Under the circumstances.

So I leave with love from myself and apology on behalf of prior tenants who’ve been less than kind or attentive to the space.

And Now …

Now I wait for word from the next landlord about the space she’s agreed to hold for me. I’m relieved and ready and just waitin’ for that green light … for, what, move #54? I’ve lost count.

Peace in my own space. A space for me. A space without neighbors and roommates consuming it. A space where I can breathe. And just be.

About two weeks until the big move … but who’s counting?! ūüėČ

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.

The swamp cooler: the newest in tools of torture

Knock knock.

Who’s there.

Swamp cooler.

Joke ends there. Will return to it in a moment.

“YES!! Jackpot! Temporarily. In passing.”

Such began my journal entry this morning. I was referring to the absence of the upstairs neighbors, the Clack & Clomp Couple, for the second morning in a row.

So. It. Appeared.

There’s but one word when they’re away. But one small five-letter word that says it all: Bliss.

Their absence brightens my world immediately! Dramatically! Because when they’re away, their Elephantitis of the Walk stops. My ceiling stops vibrating. Their intrusions halt. My space stills. Heck, *I* still!

I’m not only getting it from the inside but outdoors. Indoors they go THUMP THUMP THUMP. Their sounds reverberate through my entire studio. They announce their comings and goings by their stomping and their presence. Their presence is frequent. Usually one if not both are at home. So I’m verrrry rarely alone even though according to the lease I live alone. HA!!!

It’s a situation that’s been driving me batty for 7 months. Seven solid months. Seven solidly shitty months. I’m slowly coming around to knowing I’ll have to move. It hurts to do so, I like this space and love love looooove the location and view. Without those two key perks, I woulda been outta here by now.

The Tortuous Thumping Apartment, as I call it now. Certain residences or roommates earn nicknames, usually because there’s some undue and undeserved hardship ad/or trauma associated.

Thumping Inside. The couple above in my space.

And now Thumping Outside. A persistent unrelenting beating KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK … into seeming infinity.

THEIR swamp cooler. Directly above my space. IN my space.

Something’s wrong with the damn thing. Could be a belt but it’s not my job to find out. It’s the job of the repairman. Who to date hasn’t serviced the damn thing. Been a week since I put in the maintenance request at the rental property company. They’ve acknowledged it. Quick on the ball they are not.

I’ll tell you this about a swamp cooler that goes KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK without pause or change in rhythm for hours on end. That’s right. HOURS. Not minutes. HOURS!

It provides insight into the power of Chinese water torture!

The brain … it’s not designed for sameness … for repetitive thought and sound … over and over and over and over and over and over and over. It is not designed for repetition of sound without variance.

The brain needs … wait for it … stimulation from various stimuli. Shock! A repetitive and unchanging drone of a drip-drip-drip is unhealthy. Maddening. And if left to continue (especially to the exclusion of all other sounds) is a great tool of torture and method into madness.

The Chinese knew this. They knew it well. They are the world’s expert at torture. Research it if you don’t believe me. Suss out their torture devices. Very inventive. Frightening. And frighteningly superb, if you’re into torture. (I’m not.)

Now, I wouldn’t call the upstairs Clack & Clomp Couple a pair of Chinese torture artists. It’s not their fault their swamp cooler pounds pounds pounds pounds pounds. How they live with it rests, I venture to say in their general insensitivities / obliviousness to environment/sounds.

However, they can be held responsible for turning the damn thing on! (If I had a swamp cooler that banged that much, *I* wouldn’t use it … simply because I wouldn’t want to disturb my neighbors and drive them mad with hours upon hours of …

KNOCK KNOCK

Who’s there?

Swamp cooler.

No punch line. No joke.

End of story.
Beginning of throbbing headache.
Entry point into madness.

The Chinese overlooked THIS torture device

The Chinese overlooked THIS torture device

What goes Thump Thump Thump into the night?

Thump Thump Thump.

For hours nonstop.

Thump Thump Thump.

Just above my head. For hours on end.

THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Bouncing off the walls, echoing across the narrow divide between this building and the neighboring.

THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Relentless. Unceasing.

THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Chinese water torture. The repetitive unceasing dripping that wears away rock.

Thump Thump Thump.

Driving noise into my brain and producing headaches.

THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Through the evening into night. Hours upon hours of nonstop Thumping Thumping Thumping.

There’s no escaping it! It’s inside my apartment. Thump thump thump goes the Clack & Clomp Couple above. A noisy case of Elephantitis of the Walk

Now¬†it’s outside too. Thump thump thump goes their swamp cooler.

In this Arizona heat, I like to sit out on the patio — partly to escape my stuffy studio with no cooler, mostly because summer evenings are so enjoyable.

But as the adage says: There’s no relief for the weary. Or, I’d add, the heat-stricken!

Because now when I sit outside … rather try to … the cooling & enjoyment factor plummets.

The persistent Thump Thump Thump of the swamp cooler in Apt. A, aka the home of the Clack & Clomp Couple.

How to describe the sound. Okay, here’s an image. You’re inside your home standing 10 feet away from your front door. Outside someone is knocking on your door very loudly.

However, there’s no variance in the knocking. The rhythm is flat and measured. The timing between each beat is identical. One beat follows the next that follows the next that follows the next and follows the next in exact measure. Each space between one beat identical to¬†the next and the next.

For hours on end.

You’re not permitted to answer your door. The¬†person at the door is not permitted to leave. You must listen¬†to his Knock Knock Knock for¬†five or six hours.

THAT, my friends, is the scenario at {unidentified number} at {abbreviated A. Street} in Prescott, Arizona.

It’s as if God, who may or may not be real, is testing me. Or playing a cruel joke.

“Let’s see how crazy we can make her! First, we’ll give her tons of noise in her home! We’ll give her neighbors — not just one but two! — with heavy footsteps. The boyfriend especially.

“And we’ll give her young¬†people to boot. People with¬†no genuine¬†concept of consideration for others. The boyfriend especially.

“And when 7 months of constant internal intrusions push her over the edge, we’ll throw in OUTSIDE noise! Just for good measure. *Measure* — haha, get it?!

“Oh, this’ll be fun to watch! She’ll welcome the change of weather that enables her to sit out on the patio. She loves that! She’ll relish the relief of escape the internal home mess!

“Then WHAMP!!!!! We’ll throw a¬†thumping swamp cooler at her!! THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP! Electric Chinese water torture!”

Yeah, a cruel joke if ever there was one!

+ + +

So I’ve submitted a maintenance request. Not for my apartment but theirs! The home of the Clack & Clomp Couple.

When and IF their swamp cooler will be serviced remains to be seen. In the meantime, I can spend only so much time on the patio (not) enjoying the pleasant evenings.

Soon, the Bang¬†Bang¬†Bang — a belt needing replacing? — drives me INSIDE! Every time. Into the stagnating stuffiness of my space. I can’t believe that’s preferable to the relentless brain-breaking pounding from that motherf***ing cooler!

It’s a matter of time … only a matter of time … until I pack up and head for better.

Much as I love my location {and oh do I love love love it!!}, there’s simply no relief from the headaches, the stress, the aggravation, the intrusions.

And with my hand on the Bible delivered by a God who may or may not exist, I pledge I shall never again live below people with wood floors again!

Or a swamp cooler that goes Thump Thump Thump into the night. Destroying peace. Destroying my sanity!

thescream

Moving’s on the mind …

Moving.

I won’t say I’m making a move very soon. And if I were, I certainly wouldn’t commit to it or implement it during this Mercury retrograde (which completes this 3-1/2-week cycle this Thursday, June 11, yeah!)!

I’m just sayin’ I’m keeping’ ears and eyes open for better living conditions.

Employment comes first. It must. It has to.

Then the move. If indeed I make it sooner than desired — and it’s looking increasingly likely. It’s the upstairs Clack & Clomp Couple. Coupled with the shitty construction (no insulation, their super-thin floors and my low ceiling), their unwillingness to invest in throw rugs to dampen the sounds and improve conditions below … I try and try and try some more to relax in the place I call home. Or not.

But it’s not working. It’s working for them of course! They’ve got the nice big apartment upstairs. Me, I’m the peon beneath in a small studio with no bathtub, an ant in a tiny space beneath a mansion subject to their stompings and sounds and whatever else the lovely couple’s got going for ’em in their mansion on the hill!

Well, it’s not truly a mansion — though it certainly is a larger, nicer and more opulent space than mine. The hill part is accurate however! They live right upon the crest of the hill.

Anyways …

I awoke this morning to the sounds of their weekly Sunday ritual. Including the squeeeeeaaaaaaakkkkkkkk of furniture being dragged across wood floors as they clean.

I blew off my coffee at home — NOT relaxing! — and headed to the cafe for some relaxation and peace. My nervous system, it’s not cut out for being crowded. Being in crowds. Or being surrounded by people in my living environment.

Neither is it cut out for noise continuously in my space. Aggravating irritating noise. I want to scream STOP IT!

Actually, what I REALLY want is to scream: BE NICE! BE CONSIDERATE! Keep the noise down! Think of others living below you!

Oh well.

This apartment’s not a forever place. Moving in, I gave it maybe two years. A veritable lifetime!

But that was before I knew there were people living above me! A couple who moved in the same time I did. When I viewed the place, the apartment above was vacant so my studio was very peaceful.

It did NOT last!! When the couple moved in officially at the same time I did, all hell broke loose! That is, all hell broke loose in terms of sounds! It was so bad and so constant that within my first few days of living there, I’d already developed an Exit Plan. LEAVE!

Walk the several blocks down to Whiskey Row. Get the fuck outta my place because the neighbors were CONSTANTLY moving and rearranging furniture, pounding, stomping, walking, on and on and on …

I’ve lived a LOT of places (a guesstimated 53 addresses) in my 58 years of life. Never before with these noise issues.

I cannot win. I cannot make things better. You cannot make noise from other people go away. Only YOU can go away.

It’s the sad truth of life.

There are bad people and there are bad situations. You cannot control either. You can only go away (i.e., temporarily or permanently leave the environment). Or you can hide. Retreat deep into safety and protect your wounds. Protect yourself.

On the upside, at least I don’t live under their bedroom!! My adjoining neighbor does. His living room’s right under their bedroom. They’re a young couple (mid-20s) in love and, yeah, he too is, um, made aware of their presence. Let’s just leave it at that …

So yeah, moving’s on the mind. That’s all for today.

Tha-tha-tha-tha-that’s some thumping, folks!

Thump Thump Thump.

I’m on the porch outside my apartment.

Thump Thump Thump.

The location of the noise is a guesstimated 18-20 feet to my left. Through their floors, the couple above, into my ceiling.

Thump Thump Thump.

I can hear it sitting *outside* as clearly as I do when I’m directly beneath it. So much for peace in the home! Or peace on the patio!

Actually only Sara’s home at the moment. (The boyfriend’s at work.) She comes home every day for lunch from her workplace that’s nearby.

How convenient for her. Miserable for me.

Thump Thump Thump.

She knows how these sounds carry! We’ve talked about it a lot! Also played her a recording.

Yes, so obnoxious … so intrusive … so intense … so NOISY, magnified and reverberating is their walking that I recorded it some months ago.

The recording’s weak, granted. Not much you can capture with a little recording app on an iPhone! I stood there that morning with my iPhone held aloft pointed to my low ceiling for a few minutes as one of them (the boyfriend, based on his footstep that I’ve come to know all too well) traipsed back and forth … back and forth … back and forth across their wood floors in hard-soled shoes. Even with the weaknesses of the audio system, I was still able to capture how NOISY it is.

How shitty it is to live under these people and how poorly constructed this building is. Zero insulation between their floors, my ceiling. Wood floors transmit and amplify every sound by 1,000.

I’ve explained that to her (and him).

Still, they walk as if these lengthy and friendly conversations never happened.

I passed my wit’s end some time back. In March, I’d say, three months after living with this.

I’ve just crossed the six-month mark living here. And I think about moving all the time!

Now’s not the time. Can’t be done. I’m so torn thinking about moving. And not only because it’d be, what, Move #53? It’s not the inconveniences and WORK and financial impact of moving that deter.

It’s that for a rare change I actually LIKE where I live! A lot! Without the neighbors and noise, this place could really work for a while — two years or so.

People ruin everything!

It’s not only the noise they produce. It’s that someone’s almost always there! I very, very rarely am alone in my apartment.

They’re there in the mornings of course. Except for weekends (that’s another story), they go to work while I’m sleeping. When I get up, she’s just coming home for lunch. A looong lunch — around 1.5 hours.

Then she goes back to work (yay!), leaving me in my NOISE-FREE!!! studio alone for a couple hours. Until he returns from work about 5:05, immediately followed by her. If I’m not already gone, that’s when I bolt, to avoid them.

Yes, I know their schedule that intimately! It’s impossible NOT to!!!

How ironic that I “live alone!” According to the lease, I live alone. Look around and you’ll see only my stuff, not someone else’s.

Yet I’ve got roommates. Very much so. The Clack and Clomp Couple above.

I’ve been fighting this battle — situation — for six months. It’s more than exhausted me. The stress of it has triggered serious and new health issues and more. I’ll just leave it at that.

It would be so simple to “fix this.” Well, short of inserting insulation between their floors, my ceiling. No f-ing way will the landlord or owner approve that!!

The fix: Rugs.

One or two throw rugs strategically placed at the “hot spots” would help soften the thumping and reverberating blows considerably. The topic was broached in a talk; for whatever reason, they don’t oblige.

And mindfulness.

Watching how one walks. Take a look at your feet. Are their shoes on them? Remove them. Are you stomping? Are your heels hitting hard? Ease up.

Soooooo simple. So freakin’ simple!

It’s called consideration. Neighborly consideration.

Or it’s called moving.

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. ūüėČ

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!