Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Friendly Reminder

I've spent the last few weeks agonizing over the upcoming move. I mean, I haven't really seen any apartments that I like — aesthetically — as much as my current abode, and certainly not anything in the same price range.

Add to that it's gotten warmer, so I don't really freeze in my apartment any more AND the guy upstairs has less frequently been a nuisance when it comes to his music selection (that is to say, I still hear it sometimes — and for hours on end — but this happens only once or twice a week, whereas before it was daily).

And to make the place even more appealing, the evictees appeared to have left quietly at the end of February, as required by their notice.

But, whatever, the nail was in that proverbial coffin as I'd already told management that I wouldn't be renewing my lease. Besides, we all know if I stayed here, I'd just hate it all over again next winter. This is, after all, my life we're talking about.

Still, I've been stewing over this, quite literally, procrastinating in every regard when it comes to the move. I mean, there's no guarantee the next place will be any better for my mental health, though from what I've seen of other apartments, there definitely aren't any decently priced that look better.

So imagine my surprise last night when I was awoken by the sound of hammering at 1:30 a.m. I was in a deep enough sleep (thanks to Tylenol PM and the aching muscle that necessitated I take it) that I first only heard the hammering vaguely and subconsciously. I remember thinking to myself It'll stop. Go back to sleep now. — and I very nearly did — when the hammering picked up again, only louder.

I dragged myself out of bed and realized the hammering was coming from the hallway and yet — somehow — also upstairs. I peered through the peephole and saw someone (I don't know who) standing in the door. Behind her, the tall frame of my neighbor was scrambling frantically around in the background as the hammering continued.

But as is the nature of peepholes, I couldn't really tell what he was doing. Just that the hammering was coming from inside of his abode.

A few minutes later, two city police officers showed up and gathered just outside of my door, talking to my neighbor and his guest.

I couldn't hear everything that was said, but I caught such phrases as "well have they given him notice" and "will they remove him by force?"

The hammering desisted while the officers were there, and once they left I thought normalcy would return, ushering me into the deep sleep from which I had been awoken.

But then — for reasons I've yet to piece together — the guy across the hallway turned on his music. And quite loud, at that. We don't share any walls, but my bedroom is right next to the hallway. So while the music wasn't jarring, it was just loud enough — and just annoying enough — that I couldn't sleep (judging by the way my adrenaline was pumping, it would've been hard enough to return to sleep even without his music).

And then, finally, 20 or 30 minutes later, it stopped.

Yes! I thought. I can try again!

And I almost succeeded when once more I sprung from my bed in a jolt (as did Maude, who even beat me in the scurry to the hallway). The hammering had once again permeated the quiet, ripping me from near REM and forcing my right eye (out of curiosity as well as frustration) to peer through my peephole like the unintentionally nosy neighbor I'd become.

The hammering continued. Silence.

It continued.


It was well after two by this point. The silence continued for awhile longer and I removed myself from the peephole for a spell, returning a minute or two later when loud voices appeared to have gathered in the stairway just above me.

I could hear them more clearly this time. I assumed, initially, that they were angry neighbors convening to determine the cause of this ruckus.

I heard them say things like "This is ridiculous" and "I think he stopped" and "Sounds like he finally turned his music off" and then — when they got to the landing outside of my door and paused in front of my neighbor's — I recognized them as being two more police officers.

They walked out and I returned to bed.

It was almost 3. I'm not sure when I finally drifted back to sleep, except that I know it was a long while. I spent the remainder of the evening tossing and turning in such a way that — if dreams are any indication — the thrashing didn't stop even when my eyelids finally closed.

I'm awake now, and at work, but hopelessly tired.

Still anxious about moving. Still worried about getting packed on time. Still worried that the next place will be no better.

But if there's one positive to draw from last night's events, it's that they reminded me of one thing:

There's a reason I'm leaving.


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I should add that Monday evening someone knocked rather loudly at my door while I was in the shower. They tried 2 or 3 times before giving up and — because I was "indisposed" — I didn't even get to see who they were.

I initially thought maybe it was someone stopping by to show the apartment unannounced.

Now I suspect it was related to whatever happened Tuesday night (that is to say, I don't think the evictees left after all).

Winter said...

I feel badly for you. I lived in an apartment for a couple of years, and hated it.

I could never go back. Never.

disgruntled world citizen said...

Time for a condo. *chuckles*

In my usual upbeat way of looking at the world: "its gonna be okay."

So long as you got Maude as protector, you'll be fine. :D

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Winter - Nearly every living situation I've had in the past 9 years has been flying solo in an apartment.

And while it sucks generally, this one takes the prize.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

DWC - I've thought about buying a condo. But in what a one bedroom costs you in this city, you could get a four bedroom home with land back home. Hard to justify the purchase, particularly since I'm not sure where I want to "settle down" as they say.

Woodrow said...

Yeah, Apartment living leaves much to be desired.

LeA said...

Did you ever find out why he was hammering?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Woodrow - It's my dream to have my own washer and dryer.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

LeA - The evictees were the ones hammering (probably to protest his music). He then turned his music on all the louder to protest their hammering.

So far as I can tell, anyway.

And I found out today that yes, indeed, they still live in the building though they were supposed to leave a month ago.

Anonymous said...

You are in hell. Hopefully you can find some place to move to that works better than that. Not every neighbor in the world can be a shmuck. Of course, the shmucks tend to stand out. Good luck.

Condo living isn't everything. I can hear my downstairs neighbors talking right now, even if I can't hear what they are saying. *sigh* I am sure I am no joy to live below, though.

hyacinths and biscuits said...

Aren't neighbors delightful?

I live in a similar apartment, although I've never been awoken from strange hammering. Thankfully, the guy next to me and across from me are sane. The same cannot be said for anyone else in the building. But even when there is a commotion at 3am, I never go yell at anyone, even if I have a huge meeting or exam in the morning (which I've had several times). I'm puny. My neighbors are all hefty drug dealers. I keep to myself.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

BPP- I'm told the key to buying a good condo is to live in a high rise, where fire code requires they have concrete between walls. So, by default, it's less likely you'll hear your neighbors.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

H & B - Your situation sounds dreadful as well! Perhaps you should be searching for a new place as well?

As for me... the ones doing the hammering certainly aren't people I'd want to mess with, either. One evening I refused to leave my apartment though I needed to, because we (i.e. they and I) were the only ones home, and they'd been going around knocking on doors.

Winter said...

I have to know like Lee, what was the hammering all about?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Winter - From what I've pieced together, the evictees were hammering on their floor (my neighbor's ceiling) to protest his music. His music, as I soon realized, wasn't loud enough to wake me (we don't share a wall, but he DOES share a wall with the people hammering), but it was loud enough to keep me awake once I realized what was happening.

Winter said...

I think I would have to corner someone in a dark alley for that.

You are brave.

For keeping your cool.