All of last year, I lived in the apartment above the most silent man of all time. The only time I ever saw him was when he would stand outside his front door smoking cigarettes with his headphones in, avoiding my eye contact as I would pass him on my way to the third floor. The bearded mute would never speak – nay, make any noise at all. For any awkwardness, he was quite possibly the best neighbor I’ve ever had.
I came back after New Years to find that the noiseless hermit had moved out, and been replaced by a frat house.
In the past month, I have occasionally woken up at 4am, wondering why I’m awake. Oh. Because there is BELLOWING beneath me.
On Saturday night around 7pm, the hollers had reached a crescendo worthy of an admittedly passive-aggressive stomping on my floor. Everything fell silent for a moment – until they responded with a broomstick to the ceiling.
Oh hell no.
I left home for a bit, but later that night when I returned, I listened to the crowd of hooligans belt out “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.” I resolved that if the noise continued past 11pm, I would don brass knuckles and storm apartment #201.
I spent the next 20 minutes pumping myself up for an all-out brawl – but right as I was ready to rumble, I listened to the battalion of delinquents file out of the apartment and down the stairs, heading up the block to the bars on Colfax. Little do they know that they just narrowly escaped the wrath of a girl with two cocktails in her – just loose enough to not be held responsible for any words or actions.
But last night at 2am – a weeknight, mind you – I was stirred from a dead sleep by yells and laughs and “wooooo!“s. It was on. I pulled on my parka over my pajamas, stood in the living room for a minute wishing I had someone to fight my battles for me, and then marched downstairs.
My firm knock on the door was answered by a girl who hid behind it. She hid behind it. I never saw her face, but I heard her whimpers of embarrassment to the three men on the couch. Oh honey, yes, you should be embarrassed. You should be mortified. You are sharing a one-bedroom apartment with these goons (do you have bunk-beds? Family bed? I’m genuinely curious), and obviously none of you have jobs, or you wouldn’t be so lively in the middle of the night.
“Hey, y’all,” I crooned. I often find my alter-ego has a Southern accent. “My name is Annie, and I’m your neighbor, and I’m so sorry this is the first time that we’re meeting. But it’s 2am, and -6° outside, and yet I’m standing at your door in my pajamas. This is how loud you are. Can you please keep it down?”
Never in my life have I felt so much like an annoying parent-chaperone on a high school band trip. It was a dark moment for my “cool” factor.
But for my sanity? VICTORY.
I am switching apartments in a few months, and will no longer have to deal with these ruffians. Until then, God help them, because these days, my tolerance is wearing thinner than the walls.