Before allowing us to sign on the dotted line so that he might begin to take from us every dollar potentially earned this school year, the owner of the apartment building in which I now live solicited from my roommate and I no less than a half-dozen assurances that we were “quiet tenants.”
“You see, this is a quiet building. It has that reputation. Very quiet, studious.”
We gave our assurances (mine in earnest, my roomie’s in the knowledge that she’s liable to pass out before getting too loud anyway) and signed the lease.
Now I’m wondering how my upstairs neighbors missed the memo.
I have no problem with people listening to music and going about their business. But I’m afraid that in my square lifestyle, my tolerance is not habituated to meet my new neighbors’ needs. (The volume at which my neighbors listen to their music can best be described as “marrow-quaking.”)
Perhaps this is solely a problem of mine. I mean, I realize that Isla Vista is hardly the ideal setting for someone whose social life is more akin to “The Golden Girls” than to “The OC,” but this is a community attached to an institution of learning. You’d think people would have homework to do now and then.
Perhaps my neighbors are majoring in sound engineering.
As I write, Gloria Gaynor’s warbling resonates through my ceiling so fiercely as to cause a riptide in my orange juice.
That’s the other thing. It’s one thing to blast the new Kanye West, Gorillaz or Scott Walker single (as it occurs in my own apartment on occasion) in the middle of the afternoon. It’s entirely another to hit “shuffle” on your “Crap My Mom Got Felt Up to in High School” playlist and letting it run its course through the middle of the night. Yet, time and time again, this is what they insist on playing.
Last night, a filling in my mouth was shaken loose during a Pointer Sisters’ number.
Intolerable. And speaking kindly with my nemeses (i.e. neighbors) does no good. It’s one of two equally bullshit reactions: a doofy “sorry ’bout that” with a sheepish grin or the hand on hip followed by the look of incredulity.
Perhaps it is simply that not everyone at this age is aware of the proper etiquette. So, let me be the one to inform and instruct: As much as you might love your music, not everyone shares these feelings. When you sit alone in your apartment with the speakers pointed to the floor and the volume on full so that you might feel the soul-quivering vibrations of Danny Havoc resonate up through each and every fiber of your being, be aware that there is quite probably someone in the apartment below you considering ritual suicide. Or, at least, trying to enjoy a cup of orange juice in some semblance of peace.
But what of your precious music, you ask? What about your needs? Particularly your need to listen to “Gold Digger” on loop for twenty-seven hours so that you’ll be sufficiently prepped for that ass-shaking competition on DP next Friday?
In St. Olaf, Minn., they have a saying: “If the good Lord had intended you to drive your neighbors batty, he wouldn’t have invented headphones.”
And if you simply must continue your music-listening methods unabated, do remember that turnaround is more than fair play.
I hope you enjoy Journey’s Greatest Hits in surround sound.
Think of that the next time you consider amateurishly broadcasting your shitty music to the neighborhood.
Daily Nexus columnist Bri Lafond is also wondering if her neighbors saw the part in the lease about inviting mothers over for threesomes.