I live in a five-storey apartment building in a pretty decent area of town. No broken down cars, not much crime, quiet, Tesco just up the road, and a modest amount of graffiti. My apartment is what you would call a 'penthouse'; top-floor, balcony out front, terrace out back. It's not a bad place to live.
Last year I got some new neighbours directly below me. I didn't have many problems with them until a couple of weeks later.
5:30am and Lady Gaga comes blasting through the floor. PA PA PA PA PAPARAZZZIII!!! I woke startled, thinking my TV had become self-aware and was attacking me with MTV. I came round and realised it was coming from below, so I lay in bed for a few minutes becoming increasingly enraged and thinking about what to do. Should I go down there? I wish I had the balls for that kind of thing, especially because I'd have to do it in a foreign language. I knocked a couple of times on the floor but it had no effect. After ten minutes of stewing, I leaned out of bed and thumped on the floor five or six times with my fist. Did the music turn down? No. The bitch knocked back!
After that episode it didn't happen again. That was, until last week. I was again resting peacefully, only to be woken up at 6:30am to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. I fumed instantly, hammered on the floor and yelled various profanities. Nothing worked. At 10am, sleep-deprived and still pissed, I went to my other neighbour's house, a friend of mine, and got her to write a note for me which I would stick to their door: "People sleep at 6:30 in the morning. If you don't keep quiet, I'm going to the owner". Telling on people was always so satisfying.
The next morning was peacefully silent. I was happy that my diplomatic efforts had paid off. But then, at 8:30am, the music came on again. Beyonce, this time. They were pushing me. Okay, it wasn't too early, but it was my day off and I like a sleep in. I decided to let it slide, and since then they've been completely quiet - at least with their crappy top 40 pop hits.
Last night at 11:30pm I heard some faint tapping coming from my wardrobe. I opened it and had a look around, but couldn't find anything. I went out onto the terrace and looked down the side of the building, but nothing. It started again after midnight, and I realised it was hammering coming from those goddamn neighbours. I went to bed, only to be woken up at 7am by more hammering. I had one of those half-awake dreams that they were building a hydroponic weed growing set-up.
Either that or they'd just been to IKEA.
PHOTO CREDIT: NASA/KSC