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.

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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! 🙂

how sweet the scent of peace!

You know when you’re facing a challenging situation? And it’s got you down or angry or confused or all of the above.

And the resolution’s unknown or unclear or out of reach, adding to the weightiness of the situation.

And then something inside pops. Like a bulb goes off. All the contemplations, reflections and ponderings suddenly come together, like bones realigning in a chiropractic treatment.

And the situation’s resolved because you’ve found the answer or it found you or you found each other. You’ve arrived at it and just like that the challenging situation is no longer a challenge.

You’re awash with clarity and relief and restored to center and balance and peace.

Then and only then you think: “I passed the test.” Even though in the midst of the challenging situation you weren’t thinking “test” or that you were being tested.

I had my aha! moment this morning. She entered through the back door. I didn’t see or hear her coming. What relief and sense of achievement toward inner peace!

I’ve been having domestic issues. They include the landlord coming to my apartment a couple weeks ago to inform me that the lease bans burning incense.

The smoke from a stick in my apartment had wafted into the hallway and was bothering a passing resident with respiratory issue, I was told.

I immediately quit the incense.

I adopted an oil diffuser as an alternative — where water in a small bowl scented with essential oil is heated, releasing the fragrance. It’s smokeless and leaves no residue on walls, ceilings or carpet; it resembles this:
diffuser

Because I know people and how unsafe and irrational they can be, in my seeming paranoia, I took the extreme precaution of pseudo-hotboxing my studio while using the diffuser by placing a rolled-up towel along the narrow crack beneath the door.

By the looks of it, you’d think I was in there tokin’ a doobie when in reality it was just a simple diffuser from the dollar store!

doortowel

Last night I came home to a note slid under the door stating that there have been complaints about burning incense and scented candles. Consider this the second and final warning.

I’ve not been burning incense or scented candles.

I put my morning coffee on the back burner — speaking of burning! — and went to the manager’s office first thing to discuss.

In short, I assured him I’d taken immediate heed of his previous incense warning and not burned it since, neither was I burning scented candles.

The only possible source of scent was the diffuser. Since he didn’t know what one is, I had him pull up an image online toward allaying his excessive concern that by its design it leaves no residue on walls, ceilings or carpet it.

He didn’t believe me.

He also didn’t believe that my studio was not the source of a scent he detected yesterday that he’s convinced is my incense.

I wasn’t home and my diffuser wasn’t burning.

The landlord, while a nice enough fellow, is not the room’s brightest bulb, leading to an exchange increasingly heated, emotional and irrational. He wasn’t listening to logic, reason or intelligence.

I threw in the towel. Not that rolled-up towel by the door. 😉

I said there would be no more diffuser use. I’m packing it up and the oils.

It’s not worth the grief it’s bringing to the passerby residents — four, including himself, he ticked off with his fingers — who are disturbed by the negligible, truly, scent.

It’s not worth the grief that it’s bringing me.

It’s not worth the aggravation. It’s not worth my enduring and conforming to excessive nitpicking complaining and intolerance from fellow residents and landlord.

It’s not worth my testing out drop by drop how many drops in a diffuser are acceptable until someone complains. Is it 3, 4, 1?

I know people and I know someone will find fault, someone will display intolerance, someone will go to the manager and complain that passing my door triggered a respiratory attack with only 1 drop of oil.

Or as likely the manager, with sinus issues, himself will complain.

It’s not worth the pettiness and nitpicking. It’s not worth the battle, even with right and reason and community tolerance on my side.

It’s just not.

I let it all go.

When I told the landlord that the diffuser is gone, packed up, it’s finished, I meant it. Not from a petty or angry or self-punitive or self-victimizing or passive-aggressive place.

I meant it from a place of peace.

I want to be the one who brings peace to my self and to the residents. I don’t want to be the cause of trouble and aggravation.

In a time of irrational and unreasonable conflict, I chose peace because I need it and because I want the residents to have it.

As someone so accustomed to warfare (childhood environment) and battling matters out to the bloody if not fatal end, I almost didn’t recognize this inner peacemaker who suddenly appeared on the stage!

A genuine and sincere peacemaker.

As I made my exit up the steep stairs of the landlord’s office, his various argumentative and accusatory and statements trailing me, I went in peace.

Their untruths neither hurt me nor pierced my shield of peace. That’s when I knew I’d passed the test — a test I was unaware I’d been given and was undergoing.

Reckon it happens like that more than we think. That in this Classroom of Life that if Spirit hands us a test saying: “This is a biggie, see if you can pass it,” we’ll freeze or wither in defeat before it’s begun or in our intimidation or fear of making mistakes or failure not even try — the latter especially holding true for me.

Sometimes it’s best just to take the test with one eye closed. Or both. Then when you wake up to the notification that you’ve passed, your day is made and you’ve grown just a little more!

No more diffuser. No more towel rolled up at the door. No more worrying about attacks and complaints from the landlord or residents about a barely-detectable scent of lemongrass and eucalyptus.

I will not be the bearer or creator of discord. I passed my test. I choose peace.

aum

Sounds: dismal. But true. Advil won’t relieve these apartment ailments

Ah, the joys of apartment living, they’re coming back to me now!

{insert: drippy sarcasm}

Do not misunderstand. I’m not complaining, not really, and I’m in no way suggesting that I want to move. No f-in way!

But there are certain … charms in apartment living that you gotta admit if you’re said dweller.

Like?

Like it’s telling to live in an apartment complex. You can tell what your neighbors are having for dinner.

Like sounds. Not the sounds of the building. I rather like those. Sounds from the neighbors and ohhhhhhhhh is that a list a hundred miles long!

So let’s hone in on the Top 5 Audio Ailments of Apartment Living:

1. Babies bawling.
2. Couples, or people in general, arguing.
3. Loud music.
3a. Insert: Loud music at the most inconsiderate hours to enhance effect.
4. Loud TVs, radios or conversations in general.
5. Barking dogs. I’ve yet to meet a mewing house cat that drives me to insanity.

Now, I can’t speak for you but I’m no doe in the woods. Even as a baby, I was never the doe but the wise old knowing buck but that’s another post for another time.

And, short of living amongst apartment-dwelling felons (if I have, I’m unaware), I’ve experienced all shades, variations and mutations of said dwelling. Leaving me highly qualified to speak on such matters.

Those top 5 are subjective and within the bounds of “normal living” of course.

I mean, who among us wouldn’t put thuggy-gangsta-ghetto-drug dealers-fist-bashing-their-bitches-and-barrel-bashing-their subordinates-who-didn’t-pay-up in that 5?

So’s I’m not talkin’ those kinda dwellings subject to daily police attention. I’m talkin’ your everyday run-of-the-mill average-working-folks-and-retirees-and-we-cook-our-dinners-in-skillets-and-freeze-leftovers-and-wash-our-hair-daily sorts.

I’m stickin’ with my Top Cinco. It’s spot on.

1. Crying babies. They don’t shut up. They pay no heed to the hour. Awareness of others is not their forte. And the parents, they’re the worst, moreso than their bawling babes. I’m talkin’ American parents now.

They’re selfish, self-absorbed and of the view that Their Babies Are the Cutest in the Whole of the Universe and No Interference Should Come to That Precious Child That THEY Themselves Created.

Thus not to disturb or muck with this precious natural life flow of their ever-precious most beautiful creation in the history of mankind, babies are left to bawl until the cows come home.

Or someone toting a rifle appears, threatening “shush that young one up or I’m callin’ the cops for disturbance of the peace.” Whichever comes first. Not sayin’ I’ve got the rifle. Just sayin’ some people (too many) don’t grasp the meaning of civility and don’t care until they’re staring at the end of a barrel.

2. Couples or people in general arguing. Not gonna go there. I come from a broken fucked-up home where anger, rage, dysfunction (to put it conservatively) and warfare were daily rituals. On Christmas and other special occasions like birthdays, the collective of folks, sister and I put aside our deep miseries and pain and got along. A phony peace, sure it was, but when minefields and explosions are a way of life, you take what you can get.

3. Loud music. Who reading this says rap is music? It’s fucking sound pollution. And brain pollution. And I ain’t referring exclusively to the lyrics. Gangsta ghetto rap is boring. Couldn’t care less the views they espouse on women, sex, police, drugs, {fill in the subject}. It’s crap. No melody, no rhythm, save in the rhyming and as a words person I can appreciate that. Our current generation of rap lovers is our future. We’re all fucked.

And that stuff should be played either not at all or listened to with headphones. Because we non gangsta-sorts in apartment complexes not only get raging headaches (or migraines, in my case) that NO worldly supply of Advil can relieve but we need our shut-eye for our jobs and daily tasks. Jobs not involving intimidation, threats, unreal wads of cash, hiring kids as watch outs, macho attitudes and pants belted at the knees.

4. Blaring TVs, radios, conversations in general. Ohhhhh, this is presently a biggie! Won’t divulge why just yet, it’s a topic best served in its own dish.

Suffice it to say that I don’t have a TV. And, as it turns out, don’t need one! Because any time I wanna hear a show — and any time I don’t — my neighbor provides, amply.

Like I said, another post so I’ll leave you with this: I’d like to grab hold of that dude’s … remote (hahah, you thought I was gonna write something else!) … and give that Mute button a push it’s never had in its lifetime.

5. Barking dogs. Thank god for small miracles. Pets are not allowed in my apartment complex. Neither, come to think of it, resident children under 18, which takes care of No. 1 annoyance, the bawlers and concurrently Permissive American Parent who cares nothing for others around.

Oddly enough, I didn’t actually get to the original inspiration for this post. It happens. Rest assured I shall another time.

For now, suffice it to say that in the joys of apartment living {cough coughing up sarcasm}, I’ve got the goods. The skinny. The knowledge, wisdom and truths. They ain’t always ugly but ain’t pretty either.

Only thing I ain’t got – yet – is the diffuser. You know, that lil’ contraption involving a bowl of oil-scented water and tea light. Because Stupid reigns, not for the first time or the last.

{insert suspense audio as well as copyright on Top 5 Apartment Ailments} To be continued …