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04/08/2003 Entry: "The Poop Holds The Tenants Wher They Are."

I've railed on at length about our upstairs neighbors: the screaming and raucous laughter, the loud dropped objects and footfalls, the yelling up to their window ("Throw down my ke-e-e-eys!") instead of using the doorbell, their construction projects at odd hours. We joke that we're just waiting for them to release the roaches. Lately they've been a little better—I guess the landlord got complaints from other neighbors about the smell of their cigarettes and noise. Between them and the laundry room downstairs, we're never at a loss for sound or odor.

Lately there has been something new. I would climb into bed, and hear...The Hum: a low, electric buzz just loud enough to distract me, but not loud enough to pinpoint if it was in, above or below my room. Maybe I was just imagining it? No, this wasn't like my parents' television set which emitted a high piercing whine that only my mother and I could hear; my father thought we were insane. (He's also beginning to get hard of hearing, so there's one answer.)

So I would get up, check that everything in my room was turned off, lie down, get up and check again (because I'm like that), lie back down, hear The Hum. I'd try unlikely solutions (Switch off the USB hub? Turn off the power strip altogether? Press the button on the electric toothbrush?) Lie back down, hear The Hum. Moments of utter stillness in the city are rare enough; now any chance of having one was destroyed by The Hum.

I described the noise to The Roommate. "Vibrator," he suggested. I disagreed. I don't think anyone has that kind of stamina.

Last night as I crawled into bed, bracing myself for it, I noticed it was gone. The Hum had stopped. I was elated. But as I lay there I started to wonder; what the heck was it? And where did it go?

This morning a note written in shaky handwriting and poor spelling appeared on our door describing "a water problem" upstairs, offering to "compinsate" if we had any "innconvienace." They described it as "A lg spill of water in one of the bedrooms."

I seized this like Sherlock Holmes. Buzzing noise, like an electric motor. It stops after a (large) amount of water is lost in a bedroom upstairs. My conclusion? A fishtank with an air filter. If fishy water starts dripping in my bedroom, I'll have proof.

...I don't think I want proof.

Replies: 2 comments

Neighbors are freaky. Mine snores and it shakes the building.

Posted by biologicshow @ 04/10/2003 11:09 AM PST

Fishtank? What about a waterbed that just went bbrrrrrrrrrr....ploop!

Posted by David Leonhardt @ 04/10/2003 07:29 PM PST

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