Okay, I admit it: I’m one cranky sonofabitch who hates noise. In fact, I think my tolerance for noise is a lot lower than most people’s. I generally don’t like loud music; I hate crowds in crammed quarters; even the sound of loud wind gets on my nerves. Maybe, in that sense, I’m the quintessential bachelor (and, some might say, prematurely old fart).
Back in August, the building super at the time mentioned that my neighbour upstairs was planning to move out in December. The news gave me reason to hope: by then I had had it up to my eyeballs with the man — a term I use loosely — that my neighbour married this summer. While he seemed rather drop-dead gorgeous as a humanoid, his behaviour and demeanour was more that of an out-of-control gorilla on speed. I can’t count the times I nearly jumped out of my skin when huge heavy objects would come crashing on their floor (hence my ceiling). And in addition to having the booming voice of dumbfuck and the tendency of playing the same music way too loud, it seems it never occurred to him that it’s not a good idea to walk on hardwood floors with shoes when there are people living below. Once I even had to knock on their door in the daytime to ask them to turn down the music because one of my clients remarked that she could hear music over the phone. I can’t be calling clients all over Canada and have that. Funnily enough, Godzilla didn’t answer the door but he must have seen through the peephole that it was me, and the music got turned down, then off.
Aside from that one time, and ever since the super told me that the guys upstairs were on their way out, I refrained from complaining. I just had to endure three more months, two more months, one more month… I feared that if I complained, they — especially Godzilla — would make sure to make the remaining time a pure hell for me. So I didn’t risk it. In addition to being my neighbour, he also shares a double garage with me and consistently Buddy always parks as if he was renting the entire garage to himself, leaving me to manoeuver so close to the wall that no passenger could get out if I had a passenger. It was clear to me that Buddy and his husband Godzilla were the kind of people who have to be told to be considerate of others, and to me that’s a sign that telling them could work fine for a short time or go very, very badly.
The last weekend of November came, and I was hoping to hear some noise — moving noises, that is. But it never came. There was plenty of noise, but not the kind I had hoped for. Nor did it come on the eve of the first of December. Nor the first full weekend of month. In fact, instead, the downstairs neighbour starting having custody of his two little
rugrats kids. Whiny kids. Inside marathoning kids. Crying kids. Crying at midnight kids. So now the racket was coming from upstairs and downstairs. I didn’t know if I should shoot myself or go bowling. What the super had told me about the upstairs neighbours wasn’t panning out. Plus, in early November, the new super told me she had no note saying that they were moving out in December.
Yesterday was particularly bad. Even my next door neighbour, who’s a really sweet guy with an unfortunately high-pitched voice and an even more unfortunate laugh, was at it yesterday. But that’s when I resigned myself to the fact that as long as have to or choose to live in an apartment, I’m always going to have to deal with noisy neighbours.
Between 8:30 and 9:00 this morning — a Sunday when I wanted to sleep in until at least 10:00 — I was roused out of my slumber by banging around and people walking with shoes on upstairs. It was so bad that the oval antique mirror on my dresser tilted forward. So I laid in bed thinking, “Maybe I should get dressed and ask them to be more quiet.” But if I were to do that, I had to calm down first for fear of screaming at them and lose any chance of reaching an amicable conclusion.
And that’s when I heard the sweetest noise. From outside. The sound of a truck starting its engine.
I bounced out of bed and over to the window, and there it was: a truck. A movers’ truck. To be precise, a movers’ truck from “Two Small Men with Big Hearts Co. Ltd.” And I can vouch for their big hearts for delivering me from Godzilla.
So it’s one down, and one to go. And in fact, I think the guy downstairs only has part-time custody, so the kids’ current extended stay could very well only be temporary. Now let’s just hope the super, when she rents out the upstairs apartment, makes a point of saying that the guy who lives downstairs is a sonofabitch who works at home and can’t stand noise.