Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Note Heard Round the World

The following is a note that I posted on my Facebook page on December 13, 2007. It started the wave of peer pressure that has been pushing me to write a blog for the last year, so I figured it was only fitting I post it here for all the world to see. After my marriage broke down, I found myself a little apartment that I figured would just be a temporary space while I decided what to do. Unfortunately, the people living in the same building were intolerable to live with and I moved out the second my lease expired. However, the aftereffects of that Address from Hell linger on...oh, the humanity...

Anyone who's spoken to me in the last few months knows how very much I detest my downstairs neighbours. These people are white trash. I say this with no snobbery, just a statement of fact, to whit:

1) They have a trailer home parked in their parking space that's being used to house a huge amount of old furniture that they've, apparently, been hauling around just, y'know, 'cuz...

2) They have no concept of the phrase "indoor voice" -- in their world, it's not worth saying unless everyone on their floor, and the poor saps living above them (a.k.a. me), can hear what's being said. What they have to say is just that damn important.

3) Not only is it important, but it contains some of the foulest language I've heard outside of an Al Pacino movie or a group of drunk navy guys. These people have used forms of the c-word, the f-word, and the n-word (yes, *that* word) that have never before been used by man. It's almost awe-inspiring, until it finally gets so annoying you wanna chuck some skunk juice through their window.

4) They don't drink anything if it doesn't contain some form of alcohol. No, I'm not peeping -- their garbage is full of empty bottles of Vodka, rum, and rye...and no mix. How do I know it's their garbage? They like to let it collect over a few days in a box outside their door before going to the trouble of disposing it. Why make twenty trips when you can just make one big one, right? And I know it's all theirs because, despite the amount of noise coming from their place, they don't have parties. They don't have to, because...

5) They have an Eric Clapton-wannabe living with them. His name is Robert. I met him at a Building Safety meeting the other night. He's 44, smokes pot for his bad back (he actually announced this in the middle of the meeting, with half of his neighbours, two cops and the building manager. Right. There. I've forgotten now, what was the term I used to describe them? It was right on the tip of my tongue...), and his proudest achievement seems to be that he got Jerry Garcia to sign his guitar a long time ago. He also weaved a lot and reeked of rye. See number 4 above.

So...I've been living with the Guitar Hero (as I dubbed him) in the apartment below me for the last few months. How many months, I can't be sure of exactly...I'm afraid the last few months are kind of a blurry haze, seeing as how I haven't been able to get more than 5 hours sleep at a time. You see, the Guitar Hero likes to play his guitar loud. Like really loud. Like cranked-up-to-eleven loud. So loud that my windows vibrate, and I can hear the crystal wine glasses in my china cabinet make that high-pitched singing sound that I thought was only in movies. You know the whining sound that they foley in for crystal to make, just before it shatters everywhere in a dramatic display of power? Yeah, that sound. It's a pretty wicked sound in a movie. It's fucking terrifying when you're standing two feet away from it, feeding your pet rabbits while, at the same time, evaluating just how shrapnel-resistant your sofa may possibly be in case you have to leap behind should they finally decide to blow.

And not only does pot-smoking, rye-drinking, Deadhead Robert like to play his guitar, the other guy that lives with him and his girlfriend likes Abba. Now, this in and of itself is not a crime. I, myself, enjoy much of Abba's music, and have been known to cut a rug to one or two of their songs at one time or another. However, Abba Lover loves his Abba so much, he likes to share. Isn't that sweet? So they have wars. The Guitar Hero will crank up his amp and start playing "Satisfaction", and, in retaliation, Abba Lover will crank up "Take a Chance on Me". These are not styles of music that go together, in any way, shape or form. This would be, by itself, a bad situation. What makes this bad situation intolerable is that these fine, upstanding models of society like to do this Dueling-Banjos style of battle at 3 o'clock in the morning. Roughly. Very roughly.

I gently informed the building manager of this, just in case he hadn't been able to hear the dulcet tones of the Looneybirds in the next building over. He was well aware of the problem, but needed enough written complaints to actually do something. So I wrote. And I wrote. I wrote a goddamn novel, people! And I'm pleased, ever so pleased, to finally announce...there is peace in the valley once more. At the same meeting wherein I met Robert the Deadhead, I was also informed that he had had his guitar amp confiscated. Also, because he was so outstandingly brilliant about announcing his medical use of cannabis in front of the building manager after signing an addendum on his rental notice stating that he would never, ever, not in a million years, even *think* of doing such a thing as smoking pot in the apartment, oh heavens no, it would never happen -- he's been threatened with eviction.

hhackhac... "cough, cough" Sorry about that, I just had this strange coughing fit come over me, give me a moment, will you?

Thanks. I'm good now. Not sure where that came from...

So, there is finally, after many months of suffering and long sleepless hours, no more guitar-induced migraines. Abba Lover still likes to crank up his music, but it doesn't last long before someone else turns it down. The only problem that I can see from this entire situation is that now the Guitar Hero and the Abba Lover don't seem to have a musical outlet for their aggression anymore, so they've taken to shouting at each other (and the girlfriend, if she tries to intervene), and beating each other's brains in on a semi-nightly basis. I can hear a great deal of thudding and banging downstairs, but they seem to beat each other into comas by around 9pm-ish or so, and all is silent. I can still get a good night's sleep in by then, so it's all good.

The Guitar Hero is no more. Long live the Abba least until the Guitar Hero kills him.

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