In the past, I’ve complained a little about my downstairs neighbors having loud parties all night long. Since I’ve complained about them, they’ve basically stopped, but my front apartment neighbors are still a bit of a problem. They don’t play music loud enough to be heard from across the house (midway through the house, sure), and they don’t really even have big enough of a house from what little I could tell to even hold parties, but they do play music intermittently at all hours of the day.
My bedroom is on the far side of the house from our shared wall. The room with the TV in it is in the near side of the house, with the couch flush up against the wall. Those are the two places where I can sleep in the house, or at least where I used to sleep until I had to deal with the guys downstairs and up front. Until recently, I never slept on the couch anymore because the people downstairs tended to play their music closer to the back of their house, which would be the front of the house overall, since their front door was in the back of the house overall. It didn’t always help to sleep in my bedroom, because the people downstairs tended to have people congregate in the parking lot, partly the result of Mom’s request that they not smoke inside. Well, I probably could barely smell the smoke anyway, but I did have to bear the full brunt of the noise with my room flush up against the parking lot. But I digress. The point is, I was at least able to drown out the noise of the parking lot because the clock in my bedroom is a clock radio, so I was able to turn on my own kind of music to drown them out and get to sleep.
But since the parties stopped, possibly the result of my mom calling the police a couple of times (dialing 911 to do so!) I had started drifting to the couch more often. Which brings me to tonight, or last night rather as you read this. Between the men’s basketball final (I erred in reporting in Sports Watcher that the basketball final would be delayed on the West Coast; NBC’s own web site was either not up-to-date on Friday or just plain wrong) and the closing ceremony on CBC, I could only give myself a little less than three hours of sleep, and with the music playing quite a bit louder than I would otherwise desire, I found myself pounding on the wall quite a bit more than I otherwise would during the basketball final, hoping it would get quiet enough for me to sleep on the couch but dreading it wouldn’t. When the music continued and wearing earplugs didn’t muffle the sound enough even with my ears facing away from the wall (I wouldn’t say no to an iPod with pre-loaded classical music and noise-cancelling headphones for Christmas), I decided to see if the fact that I could only have (at this point) two and a half hours of sleep, thus needing every minute of that sleep, because of events whose time I couldn’t change, and that I couldn’t simply move to my room, might produce just TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF QUIET, STARTING AT 2:20 IN THE MORNING, ONCE.
Instead the person who answered the door berated me. He seemed to start going on about a “job” and I was prepared to ask him when he worked and determine if having a bunch of music playing at 2:20 in the morning was not more of an impediment to that job than whatever I did in reaction to that music, but instead he demanded to know how old I was. He then told me that when he was my age (this guy can’t be older than 30, and I’m 20 already) he had to wake up for a job at 7:30 (I still was not able to ask whether he had to listen to music at 2:20 in the morning) and how dare I pound on the wall and come over and ask them to turn the music down for the sake of watching TV!
I started to walk back, slowly – well, I think that was what I was doing – but he had more: the people in both the front and downstairs apartments had resigned the lease, and they knew my mom wrote complaining letters every month about the noise, and apparently the landlord – I’m going from half-hour later memory here – came over every once in a while and laughed with them about it! Keep in mind, our family has lived in this house since like 1996 and this problem only started last year!
It’s at that point that I had to cry out in anguish to the heavens and anyone who would listen. HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE MAD? IS IT SUDDENLY NORMAL TO PLAY MUSIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AS THOUGH AM HAS BECOME PM? But no sooner had I finished than this guy was brusquely shoving me down the path and wanting to have my mom come out (who wasn’t there at the time) and let me tell you, dear reader, if I wasn’t the proverbial 90-pound weakling I’d have started a knock-down fight with that guy right that instant. Hey, it’s 3 AM as I write this, you gotta excuse my potential windows into my more seedy side, but raise your hand if you’re just going “hell yeah!” instead. So he wanted to see my mom, and he was threatening to send me to the crazy house (for my little scream about how THEY were crazy) and that if I didn’t get back in that instant (he was standing in the way between me and the door) he’d knock my teeth out, and ditto if I so much as talked to him the rest of the night. And when I finally started heading back to the door he kept shoving me several more times in quick succession, apparently because my sleep-deprived body wasn’t jogging back to the door in fear.
I’ve gotten the impression that not just the multiplex I live in, but several more houses right near the closest arterial I live near, have become home to party-friendly, up-all-night, college students. Even ones way up on a high ridge. I’d say this is among the many reasons I can’t fathom how I could possibly be more motivated to get a real job, so I could move away from these people (or at least fix my reputation at school enough to move back to the dorms, which is sure to be made a lot harder by having to deal with this stuff and being sleep-deprived as a result), but that would essentially be admitting defeat. It would be giving up the neighborhood, which for over ten years was fairly idyllic and, well, livable, to the forces of unlimited beer, smokes, PARTY! and all sorts of other unseemly elements.
To paraphrase Mike Gundy, I’m a college student! I’m 20! I don’t subscribe to the theory that the night is a time to pump up the music (and, my mom suspects in the case of the people downstairs, smoke drugs so sleep literally becomes an unknown concept), I subscribe to the theory that it’s a time to sleep! Catch some Z’s! I actually care about getting my studies done! I have to wake up for a class that starts at 9 AM this coming quarter! I’m going to have to wake up at 7 AM or earlier to get ready in time! I can live a perfectly fulfilling life by being completely unconscious for, ideally, seven or eight hours a night – or at least I could, if I didn’t have to deal with people who feel differently! Perhaps, if these hooligans maybe tried shutting the music off once in a while, and put their head in their studies, or in the case of the people who have already ditched college or graduated with probably-grade-inflated scores, got actual jobs (because there’s no way they’re old enough and non-brain-damaged enough to have graduated and deserved it), they’d discover it to be at least as if not more fulfilling than throwing your f’ing life away every night!
EDIT: I forgot the part where this guy suggested I move my 27-inch TV that’s hooked up to a cable box, two VCRs, and a DVD player, and sits on a 36×48-inch piece of furniture. NOT gonna happen.