Neighbors. We all have them: big neighbors, little neighbors, happy neighbors, gardening neighbors, elderly neighbors – even crazy cat lady neighbors. The one type of neighbor that many people could say was perhaps the most annoying, the most insanity inducing, the most unbelievably invasive, and the most downright selfish is the NOISY NEIGHBOR!
Noisy neighbors can look just like you and me. They actually seem normal when observed in public. They are livin’ the dream in their SUV like 99.7% of America, they take their kids to school, then to soccer practice, and enjoy time together at restaurants and shopping malls. In fact, they might look just like MY neighbors.
However, underneath those quintessential gee whiz exteriors lie the hearts of beasts so inhumane and insensitive to their surroundings, that they look down with pleasure from their worldly perch to derisively sneer at the little people below them. I speak as one of those little people literally from below who has grown weary of the derision over the past year.
The creatures who live above me have far and away been the noisiest neighbors ever to occupy that apartment in the sixteen years this has been my home. From the first day they moved in, it has been an incessant stream of late night hammering, cabinet crashing, chairs scraping, toilet seat smashing, foot stomping, running, jumping, music playing so loud that lyrics can be heard, somersaulting, bass thumping, doors slamming, and I’m pretty sure buffalo herding. I’ve thought about giving them a “Noisiest Neighbor” trophy, but the above descriptive inscription would cost too much to engrave since the trophy shop charges per letter.
You can always tell when the husband gets home because you can trace exactly where he walks by the sure-footed thuds of what must be steel-toed military boots that are weighted down further with bags of coins tied around his ankles. Their young daughter of possibly seven years old has apparently not yet learned to walk because one can only hear her run wherever she goes in that confined 800 square foot space. (I think she may be training for the summer olympics gymnastics team.) Even when they go out, their cat tears around the joint as if forever teased by a never ceasing laser pointer. The only one who is usually quiet is the wife, unless they are either fighting or making up.
I know what you are thinking. “Boy this guy is super sensitive to noise.” No. I’ve had my share of interesting neighbors. I’ve lived through the screaming Koreans, the drug dealer, the weekend partiers, the smelly pot smokers, a family of four with two little kids who were VERY well behaved and considerate, and even a sweet couple whose lives were forever altered when the husband passed away from cancer in the bedroom above mine, but NEVER before have I had neighbors that awaken me DAILY at any hour of the night with just a foot-stomping and toilet-seat-slamming trip to the bathroom.
Despite the one year plus of frustration that rains from above, something positive has come from the ordeal – three new Monster Month monsters! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17), right? But perhaps I’ve just taken that out of context a smidge.