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Friday, March 26, 2010

Here Comes That Old Feeling Again...

My rage! It's a growing problem! Ah! Control Control Control.

I used to have a neighbor named Yoko. She was sometimes kinda loudish on the phone when her screen door was open. But I could tell it was when she was talking to someone far away. It was one of those situations where you compensate for distance and the hearing of others. It was ok. And rare.

Yoko moved away and some new kids on the block showed up. When I was in middle school, the New Kids on the Block were very popular. I thought they were terrible. I especially hated the song "Have a funky, funky Christmas." It's insulting to funk. And Christmas. Apparently not much has changed in the way of my opinions of new kids on the block.

I was really looking forward to a Friday of sloth, gluttony, a little laundry, maybe some reading. I had sloth, gluttony, and a little laundry, but all of this was done in the rising tide of my rage and angst as my neighbors (not Yoko, and not on the phone) had a continuing social gathering from about 6:30 p.m. to the present. It makes me feel old. It makes me feel like I hate fun. But I want them (still do, as I did all night), to shut the fuck up.

Now, I try not to use the F word in the writing as it's not real great, and I know several folks who might sometimes navigate the crockpot stew who don't love the F word or expect me to use it, so I really try not to stoop to filthy, but I really really really wanted them to shut the fuck up. Not the hell up, the fuck up. And maybe that was because they were talking about sex for a good, I'd say more than half of the evening. This laugh riot climaxed with the return of the husband to the apartment where he joined wine drinking already in progress and was greeted with "Oh good, the stripper is here! WOOOO!" His wife, who must have the vocal projection capacity of, oh, I dunno, I'm going to say Paul Revere or friggin' James Earl Jones on Broadway, and I do not think I'm exaggerating here, then asked him if he was the good cop or the bad cop. His reply?
"Man, I would love to know what you ladies have been talking about all night!"

It took everything in my power to not open my door (which I'd been forced to shut around 6 p.m. when she was playing Portugeuse music so loudly that a neighbor asked me if it was me playing it because my apartment is closer to the shared courtyard), and say "Hey, come on over bad cop, I can tell you every word, especially those of your wife! Apparently she thinks you make a normal amount of noise while having sex. I know this because she was SCREAMING ABOUT IT WITH FRIENDS." (If I were Sophia Petrillo, I would have done so).

Their door was, at the time of my hearing such information as if I were in a face-to-face conversation with her and not sitting on one side of a locked door and her on the other side of a half-open door. She even at one point admitted "she's always been loud, she just screams, that's what she does."

Yes. And how.

Why did I not go over there and say HEY! Can you shut the F up?

Well, I don't want them to know I'm old and uncool and want them to be respectful of the comfort boundaries and expectations I have for my home on a 9:30 on a Friday evening (which involve silence and the hum of the television and refrigerator, my two best buds). I don't want them to think I'm that jerky neighbor who always complains because - oh yeah, I already ratted her out once when they brought a barking dog to their apartment and then tried to leave...which led to that dog barking it's yippie little head off while running the length of our apartments' shared wall, stopping occasionally to scratch desperately at the wall for release. Guess whose apartment building does not allow dogs????
This one.
I like me a good dog. I do. Much more dog person than cat person. But not crappy barky yippie toy spoiled annoying dogs. Who hate being alone. After that one there was like a month where she really shot me eat-shit and -die looks. Now she only sometimes remembers to fake friendliness. It's nice though, I have a "You're so friendly, except what I mean is not at all" song that I sing when I see her.

I have to admit to myself that I think a third reason to avoid confrontation (a fourth - i dislike confrontation) might be that I knew that once I went over there and apologetically asked them to shut up (which I'm sure I would have done like, ohhhh could you do me the great kindness of possibly lowering your speech volume and that of your accompanying bass-heavy Portuguese music) they would talk about me, and I'd probably be able to hear it. Well, this happily un-fashion jean-clad, t-shirt from college-wearin', didn't shower recently, crumb-covered lady at home on a Friday is just fine with it. But somehow I could not endure the woman who daily annoys me with her telltale high heels on the concrete outside my window (I do not think she owns shoes that don't make noise) kvetching (Oh yes! Conversation 4 - you're on J-date? Can you find my sister a nice Jewish boy, she needs one too) with her girlfriends as they sipped on their fifth glasses of wine (this was the wine served at my wedding!) about how I'm a lonely, bitter, pathetic, often shabbily dressed and generally unkempt, unfriendly neighbor who probably doesn't even know what these graphic dirty web sites we're cackling about entail. What a loser (was that guy bald? was he a doctor? what's the problem???).

Just don't want the month of icy stares. Don't want to be the bad guy. Don't want to be the loser. Don't want to be the bad cop! Don't want to have to be fake friendly when what I really want to say is Shut the fuck up. You live in an apartment building, not a sorority house.
The shrieks, squeals, and sex talk pitches achieved tonight are all well within the range of standard sorority fare. Kappa Kappa I'llbe Damned'A if I want to live in a sorority house now. I am old. And a loser. And the bad cop. And the bad guy. And I want to spend my evenings without hearing about how you're a screamer by way of you screaming such information.

The best part? The husband came home and about 40 minutes later, began the sentence "See, guys think about sex like this..."

Oh good. More expertise.
Well, if I hear any screaming tonight, I'll know where it's coming from.
My response will still be, shut the fuck up.

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