Dear Neighbor: An Open Letter to Half the Town

My dearest neighbor,

Hi there.  How’s it going? Me? I’m just fine, if a little miffed.  There’s this couple in our building who doesn’t have the first idea of what the phrase “common decency” means.

I overlook the one night of the month that the gentleman feels the need to showcase their car in our parking lot, come rain, sleet or shine.  I figure one night a month of not being able to hear my television over his shitty system while he blasts TuPac and Biggie and Jay-Z isn’t all that bad.  I mean, I’ve got plenty of other things I could be doing besides watching television.  And when M’s not home (He doesn’t like rap, much.), I listen to them, too.

Though, generally speaking, I try to keep it at a volume that doesn’t disturb the entire neighborhood.  But that’s just me.  Always thinking of others before myself.

I don’t have a car, so that he takes up the entire (six-car) driveway by parking his car diagonally, and opening the doors and trunk (Did I mention he has a falling-apart Jetta?), doesn’t really affect me.  Except the night that the delivery guy almost dropped my food squeezing between the side of the car and the step railing to get in the front door.  But almost only counts in atom bombs, horseshoes and hand grenades, so I let it slide.

The constant arguing and bickering is none of my business, so I don’t say anything when my pictures fall off the wall because they’re slamming doors, and punching walls, and throwing each other around.  I didn’t even mention it when flying debris (an almost full gallon of antifreeze) just barely missed my head as I was walking out the door.

I don’t call the police because it’s always over before they get here, and then I get the lecture as if it were me disturbing the entire building and the two surrounding it.  And I don’t tell the landlord because they “manage” the building, so he doesn’t listen to anything anyone has to say about them.  Not to mention the fact that he’s sort of of the mind that tenants should handle their problems amongst themselves.

I left it alone when I overheard the lady telling people I bought crack (a drug I have never tried) from her man.  I ignored the constant insistence (which had the landlord up here checking my dryer THREE TIMES, thank you very much) that my clothes dryer is, in fact, a washing machine, and not a clothes dryer (I guess we replace the drain pipe and water hose with a lint trap and vent when we’re not using it?).  I pretended it was no big deal when I heard that I walk too hard on the floor, talk too loudly in the hall, and make too much noise when I leave the house because I rarely put much stock in pots calling kettles black.

But this morning, they woke me up at 4 in the morning slamming doors and stomping on floors and shaking the entire building.  I heard all three doors slam and both pairs of feet stomping over the whitenoise radio beside my head and was shaken from a dead sleep.

I’ve decided it’s time to express my displeasure in their actions.  Ask them if maybe they mind not being louder than the crackhouse next door or the bar across the street.  I mean, I don’t think that’s too much to ask, right?

By the way? The couple I’m talking about? You’re one of the two.

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