No More Shared Walls
really i'm pursuing a career as a lawyer because i like the
work...it's not about the money. well, now it sort of is.
specifically, it is about making enough money so that i no
longer have the share a wall, a ceiling, or a floor with
we live in an apartment building with the thinnest walls and
floors imaginable. most people wonder, "if these walls
could talk, i wonder what they would say." well my walls do
talk and they scream, "FUCK YOU!"
for a while juli and i had the pleasure of listening to our
neighbor's domestic disputes. thankfully those have settled
down now. but, as there is no rest for the weary, i have
now been met with another piece of shit neighbor. for a
while our floor (we have hardwood floors) was shaking, i had
no idea what its cause was or where it came from. after a
while i figured otu that it had to be bass. for about 4
months i couldn't figure out where it came from, until one
day, i was doing laundry and noticed that the guy under us
was blasting his music. yup, even our floors suck.
well he wsa kind enough the bass at all hours and not for
maybe an hour or so, but normally a good 2 - 3 hours. i
finally asked him to turn it down one thursday night at
our encounter was brief. the door opened, a somewhat
childishly pudgy faced poked through the crack and said,
"turn it down?"
i was so perplexed by the question, i just said,
"yeah." and left.
well of course that wasn't the end of it. it kept on and on
and finally yesterday i went down again to talk to him. i
banged on the door for a good two minutes. apparently he
had been in the shower as he opened the door in his
bathrobe, apparently the music had to be so loud so that he
could enjoy it while in the shower.
this time he had the door open a lot wider and in fact,
leaned forward showing me gray chest hair sprouting through
i was instantly perturbed by the fact that someone with such
a babyish face could at the same time have gray chest hair
that i forgot what i had come down here for.
"could you turn it down."
"it's 10:30 in the morning."
"i know, but it's so loud that it's literally shaking our
he jutted his baby chin out and his facial features took on
a new and what i assume menacing expression i had not seen
and with that his face, with its baby-fat pushing it
together in a pugnacious pucker, turned a bit red and his
eyes glared at me perniciously.
i stared at him thinking to myself, 'wow, you've just made
yourself the perfect candidate for an armbar.'
but of course, i wouldn't do anything near to that...and
sadly, he knew it.
i was essentially powerless unless i wanted a battery charge.
so i dragged my powerless ass up the stairs and did what any
good bitch does. i complained to management. i entered the
office and started the awkward conversation. our apartment
office managers are a guy and a girl who are both really
cool. as i started my long-winded sob story the girl
instantly stopped me,
"oh that guy?"
"ARGH! yeah, i live next to him."
i couldn't believe it,
"are you serious?"
"yeah, he's a ripe as-"
she stopped mid-sentence. she is a smaller girl with
dark-rimmed glasses whose idea of a confrontation is
probably staring down her cat for the last kernel of
popcorn. even though, i was thrilled to have her on my side.
"so have you talked to him?"
"no, but he blasts that music and play his guitar into the
wee hours of the morning."
i couldn't understand, here this girl was, with all the
authority she needed vested in herself, yet she didn't do
anything? one thing said in Fight Club is quite true,
people actively avoid confrontation and will go to great
discomforts to "not get involved."
"but now that, you're complaining..."
and with this the guy in the office who always seemed to
have somewhat of a paternal instinct towards the girl chimed in,
"oh yeah, we're going to let him know."
"great, cool, alright."
"and you said you talked to him?"
so of course this past evening i got what i expected, music
blasted at an unusually loud level as what was apparently my
below-me neighbor's FUCK YOU response.
and you know...for a while i didn't get it. why would
someone who looks like a child, who really has nothing to
back it up, act like such an asshole. shit if one of the
guys in my jiu jitsu class acted like an ass, i'd say, damn
he's an ass, but at least when the check get's cashed he'll
be able to pay it.
but no. contrary to what the tv shows tell me, those who i
would imagine to be the most petulant actually exude the
most respect. and you know what? it makes perfect sense.
they have the self-confidence in themselves to act
magnanimously. their ego isn't hurt by the thought that
someone could push them around, so they don't feel that they
have to bolster it through little stints of assholishness.
the more i think about it, the more it makes sense to me
that some baby-faced, twig of a guy, with pastey skin as the
that's the guy who will take it as a prime offense to
himself if someone asks him to not be an ass. he'll see
everything as a fight to bolster his ego. of cousre he
relies on the hope that people won't kick his ass, and, when
faced with someone like me, his bet pays off.
maybe in the future he'll get what he deserves.