For the record, I think I’m a FANTASTIC neighbor. I’m from New England, so I promise to never bother you with friendliness or hospitality and I get paranoid every three seconds and turn the volume down on my Bravo marathons in case I’m bothering anyone but then have to alternately turn it back up again cause I’m borderline deaf thanks to pop punk.
So, I moved into this apartment in New York a few weeks ago. Since that time:
a) we may or may not have slept a bit late ONCE and then my boyfriend may or may not have tried to take him out for a walk and he may or may not have peed in the hallway cause his poor little bladder was exploding due to his inattentive and horrible parents. In his defense, my cohabitant dis-robed his upper half to wipe up the pee. Cut to three hours later when there’s a note on the FRONT DOOR OF THE BUILDING explaining how whoever let their dog “urinate” in the front hallway is a horrible person and they need to be conscious of others having to walk through “urine.” Finished with a “Thank You! “
b) My cohabitant slammed into a chair doing something I don’t remember at like midnight. Three minutes later, the Neighbors From Down Below (get it, like HELL) knock on our ceiling all like, “hey you inconsiderate f-ers with jackhammers, can you please stop dancing in your cement galoshes all night with your elephants you’ve been keeping us up for hours and we have really important jobs in the morning like ruling the United States.”
c) We got up early to walk our PTSD dog and receive a note from the N.F.D.B. on our door for all people in the apartment building to view on their way to get groceries or be good neighbors or whatever about how we’re so loud and terrible and we are no longer allowed to wear shoes in our apartment. Ever.
I scampered downstairs in tightly-laced sneakers to scrub the front hallway with Lysol crouched down in racer’s position to bolt down to the basement if I thought I heard someone coming. I was so distraught over the potential that the N.F.D.B. sit at dinner and discuss what a jerk I am that I had some wine and posted a well-crafted apology note w/ wine stain on their door. Things like this send me into tailspins that go on for hours. I mumble all the potential, horrible conversations between me and some angry neighbor in the shower.
Tonight I was making steak and braised cucumbers and once again reaffirming my competent, life-loving womanhood when I set the fire alarm off on our approximate Notre Dame height ceiling. PANIC MODE EMILY DO ALL THESE THINGS AT ONCE:
a) Screech like a harpy coming off a meth binge while waving both my arms so fast it’s like that pencil trick where you’re like “whoa, it looks bendy!” so Matt understands I need him to sprint to get on a kitchen chair and jump to hit the button because the neighbors are gathering their pitchforks;
b) Frantically wave my personal fan at the kitchen which was ill-advised because turning a fan on a lit burner leads to a lot of surprising and excess fire but at this point in my brain the neighbors are calling the rental company to demand we be kicked out of the building tomorrow at 7:30 pm to be blinded and wander the desert like Rapunzel’s prince and all our possessions burned and our dog publicly humiliated in townsquare, put in the stocks and then hanged;
c) Use my shaking un-fanned hand to grab the closest spoon and corkscrew and jab all the food to beg it to please stop smoking because I am forever The Worst Neighbor and Person Of All Time until the planet explodes in 100 years.
It’s been an hour and a half and nothing has happened. I may be the Worst Neighbor and Person Of All Time but I don’t…actually…feel…different. Which feels good. On the other hand, this could logically also mean I was already the Worst Neighbor and Person Of All Time. Which feels sucks.
Did I face a fear?