Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Neighborhood Rant

So far I have kept my blog-mouth shut about my neighbors, have I not?  I think that - save for maybe a word or two of irritation? - I have left them out of it.  But no more!  NO MORE!!!!!!! 

My floor in the apartment building has four units on it, arranged roughly in a horseshoe.  I am at one end of the 'shoe, and said neighbors are at the other; thus, they are directly across the landing from me (about 10 feet is all).  Around the tiny corner, next to me, is a single man, The Drunk Guy, I call him.  He bothers no one, as far as I can tell, and I really never even know when or whether he's at home.  I don't think he works or owns a vehicle (I'm sure we can sadly venture a guess as to why); so I often see him staggering up the cement porch steps and swaying in front of the building door while he fumbles for the proper key to open it.  He always slurs a hello.

The neighbors next to him used to be a little bit annoying until these others moved in, placing the former in the fresh light of comparison.  The third ones, next to Drunk Guy, are Mexican as most of the tenants in this complex are (and no, that is not especially significant, except that it describes the demographic and the reason their children often shout things into the hallway that are even more unintelligible to me than those which American toddlers shout).  Well, the two toddlers who live in this third apartment, seem to be twins, and I swear, there has to be something wrong with them; I'm not kidding you!  I mean, I'm not a parent, so maybe one of you can tell me ... I am not exaggerating even a little bit when I tell you that every single time their apartment door opens, every time they are coming or going, both of them are screaming!

Seriously.  Like most of my friends and family, you might not believe that this is true unless you witnessed it, but I tell you the truth.  Why would two little twins be screaming at the top of their lungs every time they are being brought to and fro like this?  And this is not happy chatter or peals of laughter; no, this is screaming, near to crying, but more like shouting to be put down or to be let go or to express anger ?????  Two separate family members of mine suggested the kids might be Autistic or something!  I don't know anything about the symptoms, but there must be something wrong.

Well, now.  You can imagine how the other neighbors are, the ones across the landing, if they have driven all attention for the twins from my mind.  Okay, now, really.  The family is Mexican also.  I know, because two of the ladies that live there were discussing their move here from Mexico one night in the laundry room.  They were just shouting right over my head, at the top of their lungs, one lady at the far end of the dryers, and the other at the end near the washers.  They had two tiny little kids with them, each one running full-speed through the laundry room, each one eating a huge, dripping apple, each one's voice bouncing from wall to wall through the building.  We could hear it all the way into my bedroom, up on the second floor, while the laundry room is in the basement!  What's with the bad manners and noise?  And another thing, when I came down there to remove my things from the dryer, both little kids, dripping apple juice, came and stood on either side of my basket, saying "Hi" "Hi" "Hi" "Hi" non-stop, even when I answered them.  They stared at every one of my intimates as I placed them quickly into my basket and got the hell out of there. 

SIGH!  It's not that I am embarrassed that a kid has seen my bra or my cami or whatever.  If you know me at all, you know that I'm really not shy about that stuff around anyone!  But that's another post.  It's the fact that these neighbors of mine just let their kids 1.) scream, piercing the shit out of my ear drums while I'm down there, and reaching every apartment at least up to the second floor, and 2.) stand right in my personal space where I'm trying to get a task finished and they are all in my business!  It's just something that I would not have been allowed to do as a child, because the former would be considered behaving like a fucking animal, and the latter is just plain rude. 

That's four of the people who live there, two women and two kids.  But judging from the numerous pairs of shoes that they feel free to leave outside their doorway, piled out onto our shared landing (typically 8 - 10 pairs at a given time), there must be about 8 people living there.  Hell, maybe there are 10, one for each pair of shoes!  I'm not sure, but I have seen at least three different men that live there, and possibly some younger girls or women that the ones who were doing laundry ... I can't be sure, because I've never seen them all together.  Um ... I'm pretty sure that not more than four or MAYBE five people are supposed to be registered to a unit, because we only have two-bedroom apartments here.  But they have found a way to avoid crowding one another, so don't you worry about them!

Yes, when everyone that lives across the hall is home for the evening, and as you might imagine, the home is getting crowded as all getout, they have found a solution:  they open their apartment door and simply spill out onto the 10 x 6 ft shared landing between us and sometimes onto the staircases as well.  What do they do there?  Well ... the children cry a lot, and they scream, and they play loudly, as children will do.  And the older people seem to be taking cell phone calls, chatting on phones and with one another, you know ... socializing!  Hmm ... So if I am in my living room area, watching TV or whatever ... taking a nap perhaps :) ... they are just on the other side of the wall.  And if I go into my bedroom, then they are on the other side of the wall, plus about 15 feet. 

The other night, it was pretty awesome.  After they had been out there doing their thing for a bit, and I was in a crabby mood at the moment, I remained where I was, on my couch with my back to that "shared" wall and shouted "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" and went on drinking my coffee.  I'm not yet comfortable confronting ten people of various age and gender, while I am but one lone female, and they know where I live, ya know?  So I just shouted in a manner that would carry my voice sort of through the air, up through the mutual vents.  HA HA HA!  It was so awesome, why?  Because it WORKED!!!!!!!  They were very quiet for a second, and then everyone ran inside and shut the door.   I suppose there is a slight possibility that this was a mere coincidence, and they just planned to go inside right then; but I doubt that somehow. 

Well, that was my small victory, but a victory indeed.  I am someone who loves to sleep with windows open in the summertime, and I really never mind hearing outdoor noises and summer sounds, like music wafting in during the hot nights.  It seems weird to me that those things don't bother me, but this neighbor stuff does.  I don't know; I just know that in the summer, with windows and screen doors open, I expect to hear all sorts of sounds, from birds and wind blowing to other people's activities ... whereas when I'm in my apartment, and everything is closed, and it's winter, well, NO.  I don't want to hear your phone and your talking and your crying.  That's just how it is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's Aunt Lee.....I'm sorry but this post is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Your words drew a colorful picture of what was happening and it is excellent. MORE!