Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Joys of New Neighbors

Recently, the people who lived in the apartment below mine moved out. All things considered, these people weren't too bad as neighbors. You could occasionally feel and hear the bass from their music coming up through the floor, but it wasn't enough to really cause any problems. Once in a while they would throw a party on the weekend, which could get pretty loud. But they pretty much always wrapped up by midnight or 1:00AM, and they wouldn't leave the front of the building trashed or anything like that, so I was willing to live and let live.

Someone else has now moved in, and already I'm concerned. Yesterday as I was trying to relax at the end of the day, the new neighbor decided to listen to his music. This guy's music was turned up so loud that I could hear the lyrics, and the bass was so high that things in my kitchen were rattling. I know that I live in an apartment complex, so there is going to be some noise bleeding through, but when the silverware in the drawer in rattling in time with someone's music, that's over the line. So, I went downstairs and knocked on his door, planning on asking to turn it down some. I knocked and waited, and waited, and waited some more. No answer – the music was so loud I don't think he heard me. So I knocked again, with a little more force. This time I got his attention. I could hear some muffled fumbling around, and eventually he opened the door. And I learned why the music was so loud and why it took him so long to come to the door.

If you've ever smoked pot, or even been around someone who is, you can identify the smell really quick. And that was the first thing I noticed when he opened the door – that smell. Well, the smell and the guy’s red eyes (another big hint). If people want to toke, fine. Doesn't really bother me at all. It just means that I have to be very clear with whatever information I'm trying to get across to them. So, I very nicely told him that I was his upstairs neighbor and that his music was moving things around in my kitchen and would he mind turning it down. This was all said in three short, very simple sentences. He kind of blinked two or three times, processing the request. For the computer geeks out there, it’s like when you ask an older machine to perform a task which is right at the limits of its abilities, like run a newer, more complex program, and it has to stop everything else its doing and things almost freeze for few seconds. I could have sworn that's what I was looking at as he was "thinking." And then, like that old computer does when it's finally opened that program, everything came back up to (almost) full speed. "Oh, sorry, man," he said, "I’ll keep it down." I thanked him and went back to my apartment. And thankfully, he was able to carry through on his word and things remained acceptably quick the rest of the night. I'm just hoping that I don't have to do this too often.

I am really looking forward to marrying Journey and getting a place of our own, where we don't have to worry about this kind of thing too much unless we want to!

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