Noise Will Be Noise

I recently posted this as a comment on someone else’s site, but thought it deserved a place here as well.

Ahhh, neighbors. Darling noisy neighbors. When I lived in Philadelphia, I had the great fortune of living across the street from a medical school frat house. If you think that the pursuit of a medical degree would somehow translate into respect for humankind, well, kids, think again. For years I had to endure the parties that STARTED at 3:00 a.m. and the relentless bad bad oh so bad boom-boom bass-intensive music that polluted the entirety of my block. But did I lie idly by and merely curse the miscreants from the comfort of my apartment? Indeed I did NOT!

I would quickly pull on my boyfriend’s big black boots, throw on a coat long enough to cover my bathrobe or whatever ratty thing I was trying to sleep in, fling open my door, dash down the stairs, and bolt across the street … whereupon I would bang on the offenders’ door with all my feminine might. To this was added language that some would excuse as “French” but which I offered to the offenders unapologetically and quite vehemently. Since their music was so uncompromisingly loud, they rarely heard me … which was why I had to take to yelling maniacally THROUGH THEIR MAIL SLOT. And even when that failed, I had a last resort tactic. I would push open their front door (because the doors were always open at Gamma Gamma Fuckhead) and start my tirade there. Only once did one of the cretins bother coming out to see what all the hubbub was, at which time I told him to “please” quiet down because my four-year-old son could not sleep.

“He has to go to SCHOOL in the morning. He cannot SLEEP. PLEASE. PLEASE be considerate!!!”

Other times I would call the police and have them “send a car” to the frat house. When the car finally came (sometimes as much as an hour later, even though I called 911), I would rush from my yenta-like perch (spying on the street below from between my blinds) and into the street to tell the officer about my son’s inability to sleep and the lack of consideration demonstrated by my neighbors.

My four-year-old son remained four years old for the entire nine years I lived there. And no, it’s not because the lack of sleep stunted his growth or development, but because he didn’t really exist. It’s just that I actually thought that someone would care enough about a kid’s welfare to stop behaving like such raging assholes.

But no one cared. The music and the parties continued, and I left in November 2000, with my four-year-old non-existent son in tow, ready to use him again when I moved to New York. But believe it or not, I have had no real problems with noise here.

Go figure.