Be a Good Neighbor or Go.

A power saw to the montrosity to shred it to smithereens.

Poison in the water for the bad neighbor who isn’t doing what he said he’d do and making my home hell.

Slicing the cord running outside his home that powers that damn monster.

Tearing apart limbs joint by joint.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens.

Forget those! None’s my favorite thing. Not today.

I like my ideas a whole lot better – today.

I’ve got a swamp cooler (aka evaporative cooler) next to me — 20 steps outside my door — the size of a Japanese car.

It SOUNDS like a Japanese car with its engine idling.

Also SOUNDS like a police car with its siren blaring. Telling you to pull over. Unless it’s your lucky day and he’s after somebody else. Whew. Wipe brow.

The Montrosity needs repairs. But the landlord — my lying thieving landlord I discovered but that’s another tale — won’t repair it like the law requires. And she won’t let me repair it by hiring and paying for a serviceman.

So I’m kneecapped. Powerless. Stymied. Screwed.

James my neighbor is the one with the swamp cooler. He’s 20. Living on his own for the first time. He’s not a bad boy doing bad things in the world because he can. He’s not out front pulling wings off flies or swinging cats by their tails.

Immature, yes. But he’s not stupid.

What he is is forgetful. Fucking forgetful.

It’s making him a bad neighbor. A Fucking Bad Neighbor.

A month ago we talked about turning off the Montrosity for noise reduction when it’s not too hot.

He agreed. Moreover, he understood the pain of migraines. I get migraines. They make sounds unbearable.

We had a short hot spell. Even then, nights were still pleasant.

Now the monsoon season’s just started. Temps are down. Like 85 in the day, 60 at night.

ZERO need for a swamp cooler! In fact, using a swamp cooler’s useless in humidity!

Still, he lets that motherfucking monstrosity run.

For one reason: JAMES NEVER TURNS IT OFF!  Even though he promised he would. Even though it’s not hot. Even though he’s NOT HOME.

That monstrosity is on 24/7 and HAS BEEN for a month.

Swear to god, a blizzard could be raging and he’d still run that damn thing.

That’s James. Paying zero attention. Not being a man of his word. Not thinking of the impact of his actions — or lack of action — on others.

That’s James. Being A Bad Neighbor.

A month it’s been since talk. The swamp cooler tally:

2 wins – 27 losses

Bad Neighbor, James in #8. Bad Neighbor.

I’m really screwed now. He’s not been home for days so I can’t even talk to him about this.

Talk we must. It must happen. It’s the right thing to do.

I suspect he’s away for the holiday Monday. Don’t know. Don’t need to know. Don’t care.

I care about only one thing:

Is he being a good neighbor.

He is NOT. He gets an F. For failing to do what he said he’d do. An F for fucking up the flow of harmony and goodwill. An F for Failing to Be a Good Neighbor.

He’s been irresponsible. Oblivious. Forgetful. Unreliable. Undependable. Not to be trusted. Not to be believed.

Only one person can fix that. Only one person can do what was promised. Only one person can step up to the plate and be a man.  Be a good neighbor.

That is  James in #8 mobile home.

Looks like I’ll hafta wait ’til after the July 4 holiday to talk to him.

By then, his win-lose tally’ll be about 2-36.

+ + +

Here’s what I wanna tell the world:

It is SO MUCH EASIER to do the right thing than the wrong thing.

It’s SO SIMPLE to be thoughtful. Considerate. Kind. Responsive.

For James specifically: It’s SO easy to do the right thing.

It’s SO SIMPLE to ask himself: “Is it hot? Do I need this on?”

To ask himself: “I’m not even home. Do I need this on?”

It’s SO EASY to push a button. That is ALL he has to do.

With one simple push of a button, goodwill flows into the world. Into the neighborhood. Into the tiny narrow space separating his place from mine.

People can choose to be bad.

Or they can be good.

They can do the wrong thing — sometimes the fucking wrong thing. Heinous crimes and all that.

Or they can do the right thing.

I certainly don’t know all there is to know in life. But I do know:

The simplest action is usually the right action.

When you do the right thing, you are above reproach.

When you do the right thing, everyone benefits.

When you do the right thing, it is inherent goodness.

So I am requesting again of James in #8 mobile home:

Do the right thing.

Be a Good Neighbor.

You can do better. I know you can. You know you can.

If you will not, then please vacate the space so another who is a good neighbor can come.

It’s how it is here. The layout, the vibe, the energy, the character of the park.

If you don’t fit, then you need to go. Not the good neighbors. The bad neighbors. Your call, James. Your growth. Your choice. Your goodbye if you continue to fail, as you’ve so horribly have, in being a good neighbor.

This request is fair, just, honest. It is aligned with the spirit of goodwill, harmony and neighborliness.

It is for the good of all.

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Neighborliness? Nada.

I have a bad neighbor.

A thoughtless, inconsiderate and forgetful neighbor. He forgets to do what he said he would do toward community harmony and peace.

I have a neighbor who disappoints me.

He is not doing what he said he would do in our talk weeks ago. Certain behaviors that need to change to restore peace and harmony and toward goodwill.

It was a good talk, positive, friendly, of goodwill. I returned home optimistic.

The optimism was unwarranted. None of his disturbing actions ceased. Not even at first opportunity on the very day of the conversation.

I have a neighbor who is failing to do what he told the landlord he’d do.

I have a neighbor who pays no attention to his neighbors / community surroundings.

Is he that self-absorbed? Perhaps. He’s 20. It is a generation of  Self-Absorption and Entitlement. In talking with him, I didn’t get that he’s that far gone. However, I don’t know him well or really at all. I don’t need to.

I need only for him to do the right thing. I need him to be a man of his word.

I have a neighbor who is failing to do what is right. I have a neighbor who is failing to be a man of his word.

I have a bad neighbor. A negligent neighbor. A thoughtless, inconsiderate, inattentive and forgetful neighbor.

His name is James. He lives in #8 in the mobile home park. James can do better.

Give peace a chance.

Now playing at your local theater.

A performance to delight your ears and soothe your soul. Not.

A symphony of sounds unmatched by Pandora or your stereo system. True.

Welcome to tonight’s performance: The Cacophony of the Cooler.

It opens with a bass. A pahpahpahpahpoundpoundpoundpoundpound. Like the driving revolutions of a car engine.

Poundpoundpoundpoundpound. Never rising or falling. Steady. Unrelenting. A bass that fills the air. You can feeeeel the powpowpowpow into your bones. You become one with the deep pulsations. Oh the glory!

Cue the rattle.

Ratratratratratratratratratratraat. The sound of metal shimmy-ing ‘n’ shaking. Like rain on a corrugated tin roof. Shshshshshshshshshake shishishishishimy.

Cue the treble.

A high pitch. Like the siren of a police car muffled by blankets. Y’all know that sound of a siren — hopefully passing you, not after you. Also steady. Unrelenting. The Ear-Bleeder note that can’t be missed. A note so high that you swear it should be heard only by dogs.

Indeed, welcome to the Cacophony of the Cooler.

Otherwise known as the swamp cooler of the #8 mobile home next to mine.

Mere yards separate our spaces, thus I am privy to this performance — though I don’t recall buying a ticket to this performance from purgatory.

Enter the conductor of the symphony.

A lad, 20, first time living on his own, who never. turns. the. cooler. off. Never. Ever.

How can a boy working in a bagel shop afford it? I don’t ask. {Family assistance I reckon?}

How is it that a thin lad of vim and vigor even needs a cooler constantly running? I don’t ask. {Wussified whining spoiled entitled American youth with no tolerance for “anything uncomfortable” I reckon.}

How is it that a lad runs it 24/7 even when it’s not that hot? {Daytime temps in the 80s-90s, nights in the 50s. This ain’t Phoenix two hours to the south, where three months of 115+ daily scorchers understandably do require constant coolers. Lack of toughness in today’s youth I reckon.}

How is it that a cooler producing a cacophony of doesn’t explode or implode of its own overworking load? {Could help that to happen I reckon …}

Cue the theater manager. The landlord — coincidentally a plumber with swamp cooler skills. I brought the matter to his attention. “It doesn’t sound normal,” I relayed.

He did what most any mechanically-inclined man would do. He oiled it. Perused the parts. Determined they’re in good working order.

Lubrication altered nothing.

The chorus of thumpings, rattles and ear-bleeders pollute every room of my home. It’s terrible. Especially as I depend on my space to be my sanctuary, my place to chill. Hahah, no pun intended.

It’s terrible. Because to sleep, I must shut all those windows. Shutting out the night air that would cool my space.

It’s terrible. I awaken to this aural nightmare and go to sleep to it. Every day. No rest. No break. Forget the summer heat! It’s my neighbor’s cooler that I need relief from — seriously!

This is what I’ve to look forward to for the next three months. This disconcerting concert of dissonance.

I’m trapped in a theater of sound. It ain’t pretty. It ain’t relaxing. And it most definitely is not serene.

Round-the-clock performances of the Cacophony of the Cooler. Never stopping. Never ending. Never pausing for an intermission. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

The grinding. The pounding. The ear-bleeder pitches. The rumbles and rattles.

As if that ain’t reason enough to tear out my hair, move or sleep in my car parked a mile away, here’s the show-stopper:

Headaches. Migraines.

You see, I’m no stranger to bone-crunchers. Chronic headaches are one thing. I have ’em.

Migraines, however, are on a whole other level. They’re seriously debilitating. They munch on headaches for snacks! And one of my Big Triggers: sound.

Hence it’s no surprise that since this crap at home began, my stress headaches are returned with a vengeance and my migraine(s) a near-constant companion.

I want to tell the skinny lad to cut it out. To shut it off. To give it a rest sometimes. To at the very least wise up and realize: A cooler is not needed when nights are comfortably cool!

I want to tell him to man up. You’re not an elderly gentleman at risk of heatstroke. You’re 20! Robust in health and mind. {supposedly …}

I want to tell him to consider his neighbor. His gargantuan metal beast is mere yards away from half my space. I can drown out the invasions of noise only by so much music so much of the time.

I can endure only so long. Seal up my bedroom — and myself within it — in the cool of night only so many times before I start getting seriously pissed off.

I can put up with headaches and migraines only so long. I so want to tell him to grow a pair. To think of his neighbor and the noise pollution that he doesn’t notice.

Not implying “don’t use your cooler.” But use REASON. Common sense. Give it a rest. Give your neighbor a break.

Give peace a chance.

I want to go to the nearest Rent-a-Center and get my hands on one of these. (Anyone know how much horsepower’s required to cut metal?)

saw

Welcome to the Jungle. And the TV.

Thank God my neighbor’s away at the moment!

Plus was away last night.

Sound un-neighborly of me? Perhaps. But you’ll understand momentarily.

The neighbor, a single man in his guesstimated 50s, has some … issues. Don’t we all? His include mental impairments and medications. Not a bad person. A very nice man, the landlord assured, not out to do harm, etc.

Story short, the neighbor watches TV in the evenings and falls asleep {presumably medications play a role}.

The TV is in the front of the mobile home with its back facing two corner windows. Between the windows and the verrry thin walls of the mobile home, the audio is … well, let’s put it this way: available for all passersby and me.

He’s not stupid but he doesn’t realize how loud it is or how the sound carries. Separately, the landlord and I have alerted him to excessive volume. He’s been quite cooperative in reducing the volume.

{Day I moved in, his TV was SOOOOO loud, sounded like a movie theater next door!! Even the Cable One installer agreed: “That’s loud!”}

So the audio level’s now more reasonable. Still very audible, mind you, but not blasting.

Issue is: He falls asleep listening to the TV. So it plays at midnight. At 1 a.m. At 2 a.m. At 3 a.m. At 4 a.m.

How do I know?

Because I’m awake! Either as a night creature.

Or because of the TV. When I don’t WANT to be up!

With the acoustical setup and conditions, it sounds like people standing beneath my bedroom window having a loud conversation.

I’ve been tolerant and patient because I feel for the man. I do. I’m compassionate for his issues.

Once, his TV was so loud at midnight, I HAD to go knock and ask him to turn it down. Of course I really resist knocking on someone’s door at midnight. Of course I woke him from a dead (and presumably medicated) sleep on the couch.

Our conversation was brief. He lowered the volume. Truth told, I’d be surprised if he remembered that conversation at all.

The quietude of the area — nature-y, sorta jungle-y — is REALLY disrupted by the TV at 2, 3, 4 in the morning. It’s like … you’re camping. In a tent, say. And the people at the next site are playing their radio or TV loudly in the middle of the night.

Not fun. Not nice. Not right.

This mobile home park has a quiet hours rule after 10 p.m. (Stated in the lease.)

I’m in a quandry. How can I get through to a nice man with mental impairments? He has a right to watch TV in his home.

On the other hand, the TV into the deep dark hours … it’s too much.

It’s keeping me up. I turn on the fan to create white noise and drown out the audio.

I have to talk to him again. I have to. He asked that if the TV’s a problem that I speak with him rather than go through the landlord. I will honor that request.

But I don’t see HOW this is going to be fixed. He falls asleep with the TV on. Does his TV have a sleep timer? Perhaps. Even if it does, it would require him to activate that daily. Is he up for that? I don’t believe so.

Arrrghhhhhh.

Anyway, I had a VERY bad night a couple nights ago (see prior post). The neighbor’s loud TV at 3 in the morning DID NOT HELP. Not a whit.

Something has to be done. This can’t continue. Especially once spring’s here and he has his windows, including those all around the TV, opened.

Shit.

Okay, I’m done venting for the moment.

 

 

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?! 😉

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”

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