Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Defending the castle

Fifteen minutes past seven this morning. L and I are in bed denying the existence of the alarm, the somber NPR people depressingly offering the news. Then, like clockwork, it starts: the music comes rumbling up from the guy downstairs. I clearly hear Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever" as well as that wretched "I'm blue, dabba dee dabble die." Later, he plays Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Babe)." This happened yesterday, too - he played music nearly the whole day and I heard it muffled through the apartment floor. One bad thing about the new place: thin walls.

I am getting angrier and angrier as I lie in bed. At 8:15 I pull on shorts and a tee shirt and head downstairs. In passing I notice that I look like hell - bed head, mouth crust - but hopefully this will illustrate my point. Downstairs I knock on his door: no answer. The music still plays. I return upstairs.

Sometimes he plays mellow jazz, which is nice. Then he plays a club anthem, which sends me back downstairs for the second time. This noise is incessant, beginning at 7:15 am, and this from a man who clobbered at his ceiling to get us to quiet down from assembling the bed at 11:30 pm.

When I knock a second time, I have brushed my teeth, but I still look like a wreck. He answers - a short, slightly rotund but trim gay man. Good posture. His face is expressionless. He is too old for this kind of music.

I smile charmingly. "Hi, my name is Michael, we just moved upstairs, and I was wondering if you could turn down your music a bit in the early morning."

"Ok." He pauses. "If you stop stomping around upstairs."

"Oh, I didn't realize it was a problem. Will do. Thanks."

A curt nod, and the door closes. The music is turned down. But he was kind of a prick - he didn't even apologize, he didn't say anything nice. I tried to be really friendly and nonconfrontational and neighborly, and he just tried to be a dick. I want to have good relations in the building, but his music was really loud and obnoxious, and I think it's better to go downstairs politely and say something face to face, rather than bang on the floor or just run a cordless drill arhythmically from 11 pm - 2 am, screwing things into the floor just so hopefully he will be unable to sleep. Because that is my next step. Don't mess with my home.

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