We’ve all had/have them or maybe you are them. They’re annoying and inconsiderate and probably are terrible human beings. You know who I’m talking about y’all…the upstairs neighbor. They are a boil on the ass that is apartment living. Why do they choose between the hours of 10pm-1 am to be the biggest d-heads on the planet? Are you dragging a body up there sir? Why are you vacuuming when you have hardwood floor, ma’am? Why is a rave going on in your apartment at 9pm on a Tuesday? Why are we practicing to be in Wrestlemania at 11:30 at night? Why did you buy bricks for shoes? Why am I watching Fear Thy Neighbor on Discovery+? That’s a true crime series about people who murder their neighbors because they just couldn’t take it anymore. Now I do not condone murder in any way but sometimes I gotta tell y’all, I understand the rage.
I have been living in my apartment in a very nice and quiet neighborhood for almost seven years. My first set of upstairs neighbors I didn’t even know were up there, they were so damn quiet. It was glorious. After they moved, my next set of neighbors were the opposite of the previous tenant. What made it worse is it wasn’t the dude whose name was on the lease that was the problem. It was his siblings and parents who became Hell on Earth. The bad thing about hardwood floor is you can hear everything going on. Every step that is taken, you can hear conversations and the music they play or if they have a pet, you can hear the footsteps the dog or cat make.
The husband of the couple was a stone cold drunk and would come home plastered out of his mind screaming at the top of his lungs talking about some “You can’t f*** with me!” What is this? Training Day? They were awful. However, I will say the one good thing about them is they would be gone one to two weeks at a time. So I and other neighbors got a reprieve. Now when the pandemic hit and a lot of us were at home working, this caused a problem. That means they were home too and causing a ruckus. More than once I had to go up there and ask them to keep it down while I was working. I didn’t come at them disrespectfully so they weren’t total a-holes about the request. They would quiet down even if only for a short while.
Eventually, management got fed up with the husband’s drunken antics. I live in a neighborhood where people will get on the next door app and, shall we say, voice their displeasure about things that were going on. Management gave these neighbors the boot. Oh my goodness, I wish I had those neighbors back because the next set of yahoos that are still upstairs at the time I write this are the neighbors you hear complained about on Twitter. I already am not too fond of people and they are making my decision to be that way more and more valid.
It’s a couple with a couple of kids and a puppy. The puppy is very cute but it can’t make up for the d-baggery of its owners. The female of the couple does not work so she’s always home. Always. And she’s loud. I know all their business because honey she is on that phone or her people are over and they all have so much to say. He is really no better but he works so I can’t get too fed up with him. Look, I’ll admit to having anxiety issues (I’m on meds for it) so I can’t handle certain things that another person with better mental health wouldn’t let get to them.
Because I’m usually at work, I didn’t notice how disruptive they were. My next door neighbor (an older woman who is also always home but she’s the homegirl) had complained how noisy they were and how it smelled all the time cause they constantly left their windows open. That smell she was referring to was that ooh wee. That sticky icky, that marry wanna. However , I had a non covid illness late last year that required surgery. I was in the hospital for the majority of November (including Thanksgiving) and the rest of the time I was at my mom’s recovering so I wasn’t home to hear the chaos.
Eventually, I was well enough to come home (and had to stay home a couple of months more to recover) and almost right away, I began to experience what my other neighbor was talking about. The loud talking, the stomping and pounding, the dragging, I really think there’s a horse practicing for the Kentucky Derby up there, the loud music, the loud ass phone calls and so on and so forth. Okay noon time or three o o’clock in the afternoon, there’s nothing you can do about the noise. Even 6 in the morning, ol boy is getting ready for work so you can understand a little confusion and footsteps and things. Noise happens as life is happening. There’s kids to take care of and business to be handled so I get that. However, when stuff like this is going on at 11 at night (where we live the noise ordinance is 10pm-7am), that’s where the problem starts.
Now I have my music on too. You’re gonna hear Slipknot or Toto coming out of my apartment but right around 7 or 8 pm, I switch to headphones cause I recognize that I live around other people and they’re not trying to hear “Girl Goodbye” that late at night. But not these fools upstairs, oh no. I gotta hear about “this b****” or hear the kids yelling at the top of their lungs about…whatever it is kids yell about. The puppy also has to let the world know how he/she feels too so I gotta hear barking. Like for real, y’all? I told you all my nerves are bad and my mouth is just as rotten. I have let them on more than one occasion know what I think of them. I have also informed them where they could go and what they could do when they got there. They even have my elderly neighbor calling them out of their name because she can’t. We won’t get into how they caused a leak into my bathroom in the shower area cause they would fill up their bathtub to way too high a level even after they were warned not to.
The manager of the building lives close by and we have expressed to them that we don’t want to be those neighbors who always complain but these folks gotta quiet down. This is a quiet neighborhood that is mostly working class and people just want to come home and decompress and not have to worry about nonsense from people they live around. The manager did nothing. What happens then? Things escalated. They were particularly horrific one weekend and I almost lost it. I looked at the aluminum bat I have in my apartment and smiled but was talked off the ledge by one of my friends.
The next day, the stomping and other noise got to be too much and I did the broom on the ceiling trick. My elderly neighbor knocked on my door beside herself because they were causing such a ruckus. Now I mentioned I didn’t have an issue with the male part of the couple…that was until he came to my door asking stupid questions. “Are we loud or something?” he asked. What started was a back and forth and I was going off. He puffed out his chest and I guess he thought he was intimidating me but I told him to take the bass out of his voice when talking to me and never come to my door again or we’re gonna have a misunderstanding. Cue Bernie Mac. I have been surrounded by darkness and have had a dark passenger since I was four years old y’all, I don’t scare easily.
He may not have realized he and his family were wreaking havoc on his neighbors before but he knew now. Usually when you know better, you do better. But no, not this lot. The noise continued for days. Finally the manager called and wanted to know what could be done so the situation didn’t escalate further. The dude wanted my number so if he made too much noise, he could be informed of it. First of all, you’re not getting my number sir and second of all you were already informed you’re making too much noise. One day, while waiting for a Lyft, I see the girlfriend taking the dog out for a morning bathroom break. She is gonna look at me crazy and I looked at her crazy right back. Sweetheart, my mental health isn’t the greatest. Just take Fido for his morning poop, clean it up and go about your business.
Weeks went by and the chaos continued. I was able to spend the night at other peoples (friends and family) houses just to get a break. Finally one night about 11 o’clock, I wasn’t feeling well and they started again. I tapped the broom again to get them to quiet down. I hear him scream profanities at me so I screamed right back at him. That is my toxic trait, I’m gonna give you the same energy you give me. He proceeded to stomp around his apartment like he was one of his children and I could hear him shout “I’ll do this all night.” I shouted back that while he is an a-hole, he’s not dumb and he best be mindful about the neighborhood we live in. Shenanigans, they’re not going to put up with. I believe someone else also must have informed him of this because after his tantrum, he was dead silent. Then sirens went by and the silence got quieter. They were dead silent the entire weekend. Great!
Now if this dude got hit by a train tomorrow, I would lose no sleep about it but I would never call the police on him. These are black people and I’m a black woman. He’s still a father and knowing how the police are, I wouldn’t want that on the little piece of conscience I have if they did something to him. Someone else made that call to the police. I think it clicked for him that “the bitch downstairs” (it’s me) wasn’t the only one they were irritating. Ever since that incident, they have gotten a little better at keeping the noise down. I wear headphones more often to drown them out and play rain sounds that I know they can hear when they get too loud.
It may never get better and I’ll never be friendly with them upstairs. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. Don’t look my way and don’t say anything to me. They still irk the elderly neighbor however. Now that I’m back at work, I don’t have to deal with that mid day madness they got going up there. Ah, the joys of apartment living. Not. Til next time…