Friday, January 20, 2006


I debated what to call this post. I toyed with ‘Cranky’, ‘Pissed’ and a whole range of offensive expletives. I decided against the expletives since it’s not your fault, dear reader, that I’m in this state, a state that feels like a hangover—headachy and jittery—but involved none of the fun that usually precedes the condition.

If you’ve read my last few posts, you may have already guessed the cause of my distress. Yes, it is the offending neighbour at work again. The timeline is this:

11.30pm. The pounding of bass music begins. The whole building reverberates, especially, it seems, the section of floor just below my bed, in which I’m trying to sleep. I know! Who would have thought that anybody would have been asleep at that time on the cusp of Thursday and Friday? It’s outrageous.

12.30am. I have spent the past hour trying to distract myself from the repetitive thuds that seem to shake me at a cellular level. I have read about the theoretical possibility of time travel; I have breathed deeply and tried to meditate above such an earthly distraction. All my efforts are to no avail. I am too outraged. We have had a quiet few days which lulled me into a regular sleep pattern. Now, as soon as the weekend—and therefore lack of instant contact with the property manager—is but a day away, the problem behaviour begins again.

1.30am. I have an idea, one that is even more precariously balanced on the edge of insanity than peeping through windows at 4.30am. I debated with myself about taking the course of action I have thought of. I know it will affect my other downstairs neighbours as well. I reason that they are likely to be asleep, or at least trying to be, and will probably not be that adversely
affected for the moment. I take the risk and pray that they will forgive me. I take the action—it really is too unbalanced to reveal here, if the authorities ever read this they will track me down and arrest me—and return to bed. Aaaah, blissful silence.

6.20am. The house is moving. N. from downstairs has discovered what I’ve done. I get out of bed, make myself decent and tiptoe to her door and knock. I explained the risk I took. She said she had a brief moment upon waking of ‘Wha- what time is it? I’m late for work!’ I am mortified and apologise profusely. She is a very down-to-earth New Zealander, who simply replied ‘No worries, mate’ and then asked me whether I’d given the letter to the property manager. I have. The other downstairs neighbour that I worried about inconveniencing smiled and said what a good idea I’d had and said if I wanted to do it again, go ahead, just let him and N. know. Now I am being encouraged to engaged in dubious tactics—it will not be good for me in the long run.

6.45am. I return to my flat and make some coffee. I read some of the Pocket Penguin I bought last week, The Unabridged Pocket Book of Lightning by Jonathon Safran Foer. Soon, thank goodness, I feel like sleeping again.

11am. I wake up to the smell of the over-cooked coffee I left sitting in the filter machine four hours ago. It is the thought of this ruined coffee that gets me out of bed for the third
time this morning. I decide to drink it anyway. Of course it tastes bad. As does the can of ham flavoured baked beans I accidentally bought. The grain loaf I made in my bread-maker is soft and crumbly.

12pm. I read some blogs. Michelle and Heather are back from overseas. Michelle’s mother is still making remarks that frustrate her no end. I look at some of the blogs nominated for various categories of the Australian Blog Awards. My unlimited internet account that I had with one of my teaching jobs has come to an end. I managed to fly beneath their radar for 7 months, which is not bad, but I’m still sad. Now I’ll have to do with 200MB per month. I suppose I won’t have to download copious amounts of Tarzan paraphernalia now that I’m not teaching; that’s the only time I ever exceeded my quota, which lead to the prized unlimited account in the first place. With all of my recent online activity, my right eye has started to twitch in protest. I’m disgruntled and ill-tempered. I feel I have wasted a perfectly good day because of that mf downstairs. After I post this I will have a shower and perhaps go into the city to buy some fancy
chocolate. That should make me feel better. I wonder what’s on at the movies?

'Near a solar-mass black hole the effects would be so strong they'd spaghettify an astronaut in pretty short order' Paul Davies How To Build A Time Machine (2001: 60-1)


Shay said...

Turning off the power sounds like a great idea to me! I would have tried that with my housemate-from-hell last year, except that my other problem was with his constant pacing while wearing shoes (which is extra noisy).

Good luck, I hope things work out for you without you having to move (like I did).

Galaxy said...

Oh, I have been outed, yes I turned off the supply to the power points. I did it last night again at 1.30am, after which I heard him scream 'Fuck!' to the world at large. Since it's unfair to my other neighbours though, next time I won't turn off the electricity, I'll just call the police. The property manager says he's told her he's moving out, but I'll believe that when I see it; I think he might have just told her that to avoid conflict. I have lived here eight years now, so maybe it is time to move on, but I don't want it to be as a reaction to someone who's only lived in the flats for 5 months. Meanwhile the reverberating beat goes on...