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How to Handle Noisy Neighbors

Picture this:  You move into a new building. Your room is conveniently located on the first floor.  It is two doors in with only one neighboring room. You have easy access to the three different exits and the laundry facilities are located on the same floor.  It sounds perfect, right?

Wrong. Above your lovely new apartment is another apartment filled with the loudest people you have ever heard in your life.  The pitter patter of their footsteps is more of a booming clomp. The fluorescent lights flicker and shake in their foundations. Have those cracks in the ceiling always been there?

Have no fear, there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure a comfortable living experience:

  • fone 1. Contact the Building’s Super:  The number to reach them is probably located somewhere in plain sight. Once it is located, give the Super a call and explain the situation.
  • dang 2. Plan Revenge:  When the Super’s number is inaccessible or he/she fails to be any help, begin to elaborately plan revenge. Be sure to glare at the ceiling while doing so. It’ll help.
  • mouth 3. Let Emotions Loose: Upstairs neighbors interrupting your nap?  Scream at them to shut up.  Is a non-stop waterfall of noise trickling through the ceiling? Have a good cry. It can only get worse.
  • exit 4. Confront Them: Enough is enough. After letting other emotions run wild, only anger remains. Use that fuel to storm up the stairs (or to the elevator) and stomp to their door.
  • reap 5. Repeat: The previous step can end one of two ways:  with a knock or a retreat.  Either method will likely result in the scenario continuing and repeating. People don’t like change.

The order of the above steps can vary and certain ones can be omitted at the reader’s discretion. Unfortunately, for a situation such as this, there is no clear-cut solution. Different people react in different ways – and that goes for both upstairs and downstairs neighbors. But life goes on.

Let’s be real here.  Nothing in life is ever easy, so why would this be?

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What Are They Doing Up There?

It’s 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night. The level of clomping is slightly ridiculous, though not a violation of building quiet hours.  Every sound echoes through my apartment, and I fear for the sanctity of my ceiling. Honestly, I do. One of these days I know I’ll look up and find a leg sticking through from the apartment above.
Attached to that foot could be a number of things. I suspect a cinder-block clog.

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Image by Casey Donovan

The clock strikes nine – or it would if we had a clock in our apartment. A door slams shut somewhere above me.  Another Clomp Clomp has arrived home or woken up to join the party. It’s not a rager by any means, not that this would be out of the ordinary for my lovely upstairs neighbors, but the lights are shaking.

They are pacing the floor, or whatever the deafeningly loud version of pacing is called. What on Earth requires that much movement around your apartment? The footsteps crisscross to every corner of the room.

If that wasn’t enough, there is now an additional sound.  If I had to guess, I would say they tipped over their incredibly large barrel of marbles which are now rolling along the floor. I put in my headphones to block out the noise as I attempt to write my essay.

And now it’s midnight.  As I lay in bed, a drawer slams open and shut three times.  Or three separate drawers are opened and closed in rapid succession. I would hope, by this point in the year, the Clomp Clomps would know what articles of clothing are stored in which drawers. This does not appear to be the case.

Also, for what reason could they need to go through their drawers at this hour? A late-night fashion show? The walking through the apartment that follows the clanging does little to disprove my theory.

At 2:30 a.m. they fall silent. Or at least, that is the last I hear of them before falling asleep. I even dream about them doing a river dance in those cinder-block clogs. At least, I think it was a dream.


The beautiful image of the cinder-block clogs was created for me by the lovely Casey Donovan. Check out more of her work.

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Physics: A Lesson in Angry Motion

It’s about 5 p.m. on a Thursday. Dinnertime is not usually a point in the evening which requires silence, but nor is it a time which requires the sound of 300 baby gazelles learning to walk for the first time.

The Clomp Clomps appear to disagree. It goes on for a bit, and I wonder whether they’ve put roller-skates on the gazelles for added effect. There certainly seems to be enough banging combined with the sound of footsteps crisscrossing the apartment.

And then, quite honestly, I lost it. It is simply unnatural to make that amount of noise.

I grabbed the bicycle seat resting on the ground next to my closet, as one does, and strode into the living room. I lifted my leg and climbed onto the arm of the armchair. Balancing carefully, I repeatedly rammed the seat into the ceiling with extreme force.

I’m no expert in physics, in fact I am almost quite literally the opposite, but I learned a lesson today.  An object in motion (especially angry motion) will remain in motion and be acted upon by the equal or greater force that is gravity.

The rapid punches to the ceiling affected my balance and suddenly I toppled backwards, free-falling from a height of about two feet off the ground. The level of panic that gripped me in those few moments of falling was tremendously high.  I saw a small amount of my life flash before my eyes. I wasn’t impressed.

Then, I stopped falling. Quite abruptly. I did not hit the floor, though.  chairsIn a move of extreme grace, as I flailed my limbs, I managed to land directly into the seat of the chair next to me.  I was completely unharmed, as were the chairs and the bicycle seat.

There is not a doubt in my mind that I could not execute such an amazing move again in my life, even if I was actively trying.

Now, I know that the Clomp Clomps didn’t see this happen, but following the incident they were remarkably quiet for all of an hour and half.  I count that as a victory.