It’s official. He’s the Jerk of the Park.

It’s 51 degrees (26 C) degrees and cloudy.

Raise your hand if you’d be using your air conditioner.

He’s back at it. After a blip on the radar screen of switching off that noisy monstrosity  of his evaporative cooler in these cooler monsoon days and even cooler nights, James is back to running it constantly. Day and night. And for extended absences.

It’s hard to miss the noise of that mother-ing monstrosity! It’s loud because it needs repairs, which the landlord refused to do.

It’s hard to miss that hunka metal the size of a VW bug for midgets because it faces half my home and most of my windows — including the bedroom’s.

Tight quarters inmobile home parks.You have to consider your neighbors!

Or not.

Then you’re the Jerk of the Park. Meet James.

Places I’ve lived often get a moniker. Something short ‘n’ sweet that summarizes the experience for better or worse. Usually it captures something significant or particularly memorable about a person — a neighbor or a roommate.

After three months of truly inconsiderate behavior  and plenty of chances to be otherwise, he’s proven himself to be a bad neighbor. It’s official. He earned the title. He’s the Jerk of the Park.

Whywhywhy is he running that cooler in the rain?! In these monsoons?! When it’s fucking 51 degrees outside?!?

He’s negligent, forgetful, young, too busy to care, doesn’t care — some of each perhaps. I get all that. We’ve addressed this issue. The constant sound and unnecessary use of his cooler. He promised to rectify the situation. He didn’t. Promised to be a better neighbor. He hasn’t been.

For months I’ve bemused that he’d finally turn that thing off and KEEP IT OFF only when there’s a blizzard.

Lordie I hate being right sometimes!

Though I’m moving most of my things today — off to pick up the U-Haul truck momentarily — I’m actually still here ’til Wednesday. Seven days.

Seven more days of James and his Giant Swamp Cooler. (Were that I could write Giant Peach instead!)

Seven more days of that high pitch (that serves to remind of the landlord’s denial of a problem and refusal to get it repaired) and roar. Night and day. Regardless of temperature and conditions.

Seven more days of the Jerk of the Park.

There are losses with this move and there are gains. I mourn the former and celebrate the latter.

On the whole, in the big picture, my leaving is a positive. A great thing even. A better class of people await.

And a better me too — for I do take lessons and teachings specific to this living situation with me.

A time of quietude will be very healing — and necessary — in the upcoming room rental (official move-in today).

I was about to write: I’ll miss having my own space. Then thought: But do I really?

The constant intrusiveness of  the neighbor’s noise tell me otherwise.

 

 

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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.

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

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.

You can’t get blood from a stone.

Or turn assholes into angels.

Sorta funny. Sorta sad. Sorta ironic*.

*Yes, I know the definition {most who use it do not} and am using it correctly.

Funny First

Twice “Sue” and I’ve talked about the noise — she being the upstairs tenant. Noise has been an issue since Day 1. Most recent talk was March 15. Ides of March.

I made it a priority to have a heart-to-heart with her that day, my birthday. After 5 months of noise, I was beyond exhausted, pushed well past healthy boundaries of endurance and patience. Not with her but him. Yairo is his name for the record. I’ll call him “Yaz.” Her live-together boyfriend. I couldn’t continue with with the noise of the preceding 5 months and sought a better year ahead, starting with my birthday.

You can tell a LOT by the sound of someone’s footsteps. Correction: I can. I’m extremely sensitive, plugged in, highly aware of my environment and more than a little psychic.

When I met “Sue” for our first talk, months after living beneath their noise, she was exactly as I’d pictured her by her footsteps. Exactly. Spot on. Down to her age, hair color and build.

Walls are no barrier when you’re sensitive and psychic.

She was as nice in person as I’d felt her to be by her footsteps before we met.

Here’s the thing about footsteps. Feet are more than our means of getting around. They transit energies. The energies of the person whom they transport. Body size has much less to do with it than you think.

Footsteps of a 200-pound person can be nearly featherlight if that person’s gentle, peaceful, kind on the inside. Meanwhile, a person at half that weight can walk like an elephant — because inside s/he is angry, arrogant, pushy, bossy, a jerk.

In short, it’s not how much you weigh that characterizes your footsteps, it’s who you are on the inside.

I liked “Sue” by her footsteps and I like her in person.

Funny is how I knew her looks, energies, personality even before I met her — based solely on her footsteps. No pun intended.

Sad’s Second

Her boyfriend’s another matter entirely.

I’ve listened to his footsteps, his stompings and goings-about in their apartment since November. I’m picking up that he’s got some sort of disorder, like ADD, because the man can hardly sit still for very long. She says he’s a couch potato. I know otherwise. I just don’t think she sees him for who he really is.

I’ve listened to him hammer, scrape, pound, drag heavy furniture across wood floors, rearrange rooms, assemble furniture, drop things, slam and slide doors and cabinets, drop more things. Day and night.

Yes, everything you just read he’s done and continues to do any time between 9 in the morning to past 10 at night.

“Sue’s” talked to him. Tried to bring him onto the page of Consideration and Thoughtfulness.

Doesn’t matter.

Nothing really changes. He is who he is. Who he is is macho man of Egyptian and Mexican descent. Men of those cultures are not known for their sensitivity, feminine ways, delicacy or compassion. Machismo, ego and certain brute forces and type of infantile “the world revolves around me” / “I rule the world” prevail.

Who he is is a jerk. An asshole. A man oblivious and ignorant and self-involved.

Above all, he simply doesn’t care about those around whom he doesn’t know (inc. other tenants).

He doesn’t care that his stompings and noises are sonic booms that reverberate across and shake my low ceilings.

He doesn’t care that his home renovations late at night are discourteous, selfish, unreasonable and engender no goodwill. He doesn’t care that his hammerings and heavy-duty furniture poundings and rearrangings at 9:30 or 10 at night are rude.

He doesn’t care.

His involvement with his self and interests is greater than his concern for or thought of others.

And that is sad.

Ironic, Isn’t It

Herein lies the irony of it all.

“Sue” has communicated the gist of our conversations regarding noise to her boyfriend. (I do not care to talk to him or even meet him for various reasons.)

He abides by “rules of consideration” — i.e., removing his shoes and boots (ohmigawd, talk about a thunderous herd of buffalo upon wood floors!) — when she’s present.

When she’s away, he does as he pleases. Stomps around in shoes. She has no idea.

Defiant two-faced son of a bitch!

To further pour salt into a wound, “Sue” and I addressed my using a broom against my ceiling to indicate when the noise (read: his noise) crosses a line at night.

In our extensive problem-solving discussion on my birthday, I broached that topic specifically because some people consider hitting-broom-on-ceiling rude and passive-aggressive.

I wanted to check with her and her feelings about it first before I took to doing it. She responded “no problem, I’m fine with it.” Especially at night. Can be a real pain traversing our awkward and unlit property at night.

The Kicker, Literally

I took her at her word.

Wouldn’t you know it. Last night around 9:30, pound pound pound. “Yaz” is slamming together what sounded like a piece of do-it-yourself furniture.

I gently but firmly hit my ceiling with the soft mop head. Inside my kitchen. Directly under their living/dining rooms where the action was taking place.

His pounding continued.

Thinking perhaps he didn’t hear me, I climbed onto the kitchen counter and pounded the ceiling several times with my fist.

What came in response floored me. No pun intended.

The Kicker. STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP.

Heavvvvy stomping. Deliberate stomping. Forceful angry stomping. I halfway expected to see his foot crashing through my ceiling!

Stomping that did NOT convey: “I hear you. I’m sorry. I’m making too much noise late at night. I’ll stop immediately and continue this project tomorrow.”

No. His stomping communicated:

“Fuck you. I’ll do as I want.”

And that, my friends, is the type of individual living above me.

Thoughtful. Caring.. Cooperative. Considerate of others. Respectful. Abiding of prior agreements. Courteous. Above all, kind.

Where Do Ya Go From Here?

Naturally a part of me answers:

“Away. Flee this space. Move.

“You deserve better. So much better than who Yairo is and what he is doing (showing absolute disregard and disrespect by his actions). Though he wears a friendly and accommodating smile, deep down he is a selfish and immature man with no concern or regard for others he does not know / people outside his own circle.”

The other part answers:

“Move? Are you crazy? Not only is now not the time, it’s not the season! (i.e., colleges are in session, students back, it’s spring, people are on the move, housing demand is WAY up!!)!

“How many moves have you made to date? Around 52? How many in the last 9 months just in your town alone? Three. Your priority, your NEED now is gainful employment. Setting a foundation for yourself. Income. Self-care. Not yet another upheaval. And certainly not running away because the neighbor is being an asshole. IS an asshole.”

Here’s the sitch in a nutshell. As it is, I already spend HOURS upon HOURS away from my apartment. Especially evenings, after “Yaz” is back from work. How do I know? You can’t NOT know his schedule intimately living below him! Every evening I leave the house. To avoid the Yukky World of Yairo.

That I was even home last night at 9:30 is rare. I decided at the last minute not to go see the band. Normally I hang out wherever I am past 10:30 p.m., their bedtime, and return only then knowing that all will be quiet then on the Western front.

Unfortunately, weekends they stay up later, requiring me to stay out at least past 11 p.m. to increase the odds of returning to a quiet and still space. Not guaranteed. Just increasing.

Where to go from here?

I’ll be bringing this matter — the matter of her boyfriend’s heavy and aggressive stomping, telling me to fuck off, in response to my mop-on-my-ceiling noise alert — to her attention.

She’s young. Like 25. They’re in love. They’re living together. Rose-colored lenses. Limited life experience. Unlikely she truly knows the person he is. He certainly REVEALS who he is by slamming me down and stomping on me even when it is HE who’s doing bad. Welcome to Machismo. Welcome to Asshole.

Oh yeah, the grand irony in all this?

I’ve known who these individuals are, even before meeting or seeing them! I’ve spot-on pegged them by intuition and psychic abilities and people-reading skills alone.

I KNEW by their footsteps.

I KNEW she was nice. Thoughtful. Considerate. And she is.

I KNEW, by his walking, that he’s an asshole. A macho jerk. A man who if you brought noise issues to him would smile and nod and appear accommodating. But then close the door and he’d stomp even louder on their floors. Deliberately. Just because he could.

My intuitive and psychic abilities are once again spot-on. I can read people well. Too well. Walls and floors are no barrier.

When you’re psychic, you see too much. Know too much. Hear too much. Feel too much.

When you’re a macho man like “Yaz,”, you feel little but your own sense of self-importance. The sun and moon and stars revolve around you.

Must be nice to be of a one-man world. Liberated from concerns, caring or awareness of others.

Must be nice to do exactly as you please, with no thought or consideration toward others around who mean nothing to you.

Must be nice to be a man and a dick. To rule the world in those ways. To be at the effect of no one and to disregard your effect on others.

I don’t want to be that man. Or person. It’s a pretty low station on the Totem Pole of Evolution and Consciousness. {And a crappy way to treat others.}

The Power of the Inconsiderate is greater than the Power of Good in our world.

And even though “Yaz” is a macho man of arrogance rather than respect, I choose inner peace for myself.

I choose to laugh at the folly. The follies of a young and pretty unevolved soul who chooses to respond with a vociferous stomping “fuck you” rather than a “my bad, I’m sorry.”

The growth, for me, lies in standing up for myself, choosing my battles wisely and not wrestling with a bear who is blind.

Best gift I can myself is an f-word. Not his f-word. Rather, forgiveness. Men like him will always get their just rewards, if not in this lifetime, then another.

So God, please bless me for having the courage to stand up for myself and communicate to “Sue” {who is safe} the behaviors of her boyfriend that yet again have crossed a line.

Please bless her in her kindness.

Bless him in his obliviousness and arrogance. Forgive him who is blind.

And let me go free. In peace.

what earplugs can’t cure, perhaps prayer can

It never stops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IT. NEVER. ENDS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

Bring in ‘da landlord, bring in ‘da peace

I couldn’t say it had to happen.

But it became necessary.

It became necessary when after another night away from the home to avoid the intrusive noises from the Clomp and Clack Couple above I returned at 10 p.m. to their TV blasting.

It became necessary when after weeks of their constant excessive and imposing noises — a long laundry list I don’t care to detail or revisit — they showed no signs of developing consideration or awareness of others.

I had a little help getting there … taking that step to write a letter to the landlord — all informational with just a splash of personal about the enormous stress and toll it’s taken … help from an excellent and skilled tarot reader.

Involving the police (which became necessary in week 1 with the new neighbors) is one thing; maintaining and restoring public peace is their job. The officer doesn’t know you or you him/her; no names were involved and the noisy neighbors had no way of knowing which neighbor made the call.

Involving the landlord’s another thing. You know each other. You can’t know how — or in some cases if — the landlord will respond.

You don’t know how the neighbors, once they’ve been made aware of a complaint, will respond … whether they’ll retaliate or make matters worse (by for example stomping or cranking up the TV even more loudly) or attempt to initiate a war.

Sometimes speaking up escalates a problem. Sometimes it fixes it. With a landlord I barely know and neighbors I know only through their intrusive, inconsiderate and disruptive behaviors, speaking up is fraught with risk.

So I consulted an excellent tarot reader. He not only picked up on and described my situation to a T with no input from me, he understood my caution about contacting the landlord and risks and affirmed there’d be no retaliation from the Noisy Neighbors.

On that green light and confidence in the reader’s credibility, I proceeded to pen a letter to the landlord. An informative letter not of emotion but fact in the style of Joe Friday’s “just the facts ma’am.”

I know my landlord to be a reasonable, reasoning, competent, articulate business-type woman with no axe to grind (toward me or I daresay most people) or agenda. She’s been in the business a long time and has certainly encountered tenant complaints, justified or otherwise.

I trust her to read and receive the letter in the spirit in which it it intended and to act as she sees fit.

That’s a really GOOD feeling — REALLY good, especially after still stinging from the behaviors and emotional prejudices of my former landlord (and his small crew of chronic complainers).

“Just the facts, ma’am.” I WANT that in a landlord!! Need that. I need fairness. Reason. Justness.

The letter’s gone, thank you, cyberspace. Now that it’s written, long weeks after saying nothing amid the constant noise, bangings, blaring TV, stompings, impositions, disruptions etc. wrought by neighbors out of control and focusing on myself to be still and Zen amid the intrusions, I feel good about bringing the landlord into the loop.

I feel good about it on in the context of communication and information for ALL residents and neighbors impacted by their behaviors.

I will continue to practice stillness. I shall continue learning Zen amid the assholes — no shortage of ’em in this world, eh?! And I shall continue changing and growing and monitoring my responses and consciously choosing new and better ones.

The work — the work of remaining still while the rest of the world is being an asshole — continues. But this was about so much more than that. So much more. Childhood experiences and issues still to be uncovered and healed.

In the meantime, I’ve no regrets about how I handled the VERY ACTIVE and oblivious Clomp & Clack Couple above. I did not fight fire with fire. I did not go banging on their door or seek to consult with them to alleviate the problem.

I remained inward-focused, mindful of the teaching/lesson about Zen amid the Noise and assholes. And when things got really bad or out of control, I let the authorities (police and landlord) handle it. No interference or involvement from me beyond passing on information about behaviors affect the group as a whole, not only myself.

Yes, it became time to speak up (inform the landlord) for the good of all. As for me, I’ll keep on growing and LEARNING to trust that authorities (i.e., police, landlord) will do the good thing rather than the bad thing.

Looking forward to a GREAT and peaceful 2015!

it’s. just. too. much. period.

Give it two or three weeks. If the noise and obliviousness toward others continue, inform the property manager by letter.

That’s the guidance I’m getting today for handling the noisy neighbors upstairs.

Unless you’ve lived under people with wooden floors, it’s impossible to grasp or imagine the experience. The sound of each footstep, action and movement across a floor transmitted and amplified x 500. Conversations, shrieks, shoutings, megaphoned into your space, filling it with their vibrations and energies. THEIR lives, ways and means, habits and peculiarities become yours. Not by choice but force of inconsideration on their part.

Can neighbors not walk on the floors? Of course not. It’d be stupid to think so and that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that people can be made aware that others exist and dial it down several notches.

The nature of wood to transit vibrations and sounds cannot be overcome or eradicated. However, if you have wood floors, consideration of others can go a long way in establishing a peaceful and pleasant public domain for all.

Two to three weeks. If the noise and obliviousness continue, inform the landlord through a letter.

Last night when I came home from work around 12:15 a.m., their apartment was dark. More blessedly, it was quiet. Quiet. Still. Not a peep. Either they weren’t home or they were sleeping.

It was heaven! A temporary heaven but heaven nonetheless!

It was the first time in a week that their apartment has been silent. In a week! The aggravation, stress and noise by them have been a constant morning, afternoons and night. I’ve not known a moment of silence or solitude with the Clomp and Clack Couple Above!

I’m trying — REALLY trying — to tune it out. To shut down my already oversaturated overstressed and overtaxed system (made especially so by the crappy living situation just left). I go out when I can’t take in ANY more and then I’m slam-dunked right back into it — the noise and their obliviousness — when I get home.

Home. Hah! This ain’t home! This is THEIR home bleeding into and swallowing my space whole.

I listen to soothing music. Not loudly. I COULD. I’ve got a fantastic stereo. I could “fight sounds with sounds.” But what’s the point of that? Where’s the peace in that? The relaxation, the joy? Why be an asshole back to the assholes? There’s no good (or growth) in that.

So I enjoy the music at a low volume, doing what I know is right. Not pushing back with obnoxiousness toward the obnoxiousness that surrounds me.

One more element I mustn’t neglect to mention. I pray. I pray a lot. I pray for relief. I pray not for them to become aware of others — that’ll be handled in the letter to the property manager if it comes to that — but rather for peace FOR ME. Peace in myself and peace in my space so that I CAN claim it as mine instead of having it remain overtaken and overrun by the assholes upstairs (or anywhere else!).

In my last residence, I knew bullies. Not by names and faces (save for the landlord to a certain extent) but by their energies and the way things went down. They were IN my space. They entered my space and life around and under the doors like smoke.

The Clomp and Clack Couple Above, they’re not bullies, they’re assholes and that’s a different scene. They can’t be made to be nice, considerate or mindful of others. You can’t change a jerk, only a jerk can change him/herself. And being in intimate proximity with one, verrrrrry challenging, very difficult and fucking unpleasant!

Where was I going with this? I’m not venting, rather trying to communicate what it’s like living beneath oblivious people with wooden floors. Unless you’ve been through it, you can’t know, feel or imagine it.

It’s tantamount to being trampled on all the time.

Disregarded and MADE invisible by individuals WHO JUST AREN’T THINKING ABOUT ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES.

A buddy and I share the same property manager. He asked how my move went. I explained about the neighbors. He knew EXACTLY what I was experiencing. “I’ve lived below people with wooden floors several times,” he shared. “That’s why I DON’T do it anymore!”

Touche!

It’s just so nice when someone understands, really gets what this feels like. Intrusive. LOUD. Oblivious to others. And never-ending. Save in those blessed moments when they’re out (rarely) or asleep.

The stress is high, throat level, gagging me. I keep praying for this to abate. For relief. For rest for the weary. And I AM wearied by the constant stomping, noise, pressure and intrusions coming in from above me. I want it to stop. I want them to stop (not walking, obviously) … rather, just stop being oblivious, stop being assholes. And become AWARE that others exist. And then from that awareness be nice. Dial it down several notches. Step instead of march. Lift furniture as a team rather than drag it across the floor. Simple changes that’d help create peace for everyone around. It’s achievable. With or without intervention from the landlord.

That’s all in my weariness and exhaustion I’ve got for the moment.

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

I express my gratitude to the police department of Prescott.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My motto my mantra guidance from spirit.

You can’t change assholes. Let them be.

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

Ah, the joys of apartment living!

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

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

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

Meet the Clomp and Clack Couple

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

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

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

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

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

POUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUND. {pause} POUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUND.

Talk about a pounding headache! {not theirs.}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh ode to joy!

COV_GagMe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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