This was written one day in 2008-2009, while living at my first ever post-college apartment – 22 Prospect St, Beverly, MA.
The neighbors are hammering. This is not to be confused with the ever-popular activity of getting hammered. Oh no. Those are the next-door neighbors. Their drunk quote of the week, as heard on Sunday at 1am while I was trying to sleep: “You CAN’T vote for McCain. OH my gosh I won’t even talk to you again. You don’t even get it. Obama is so much better. I mean, a vote for McCain is a vote against Obama.” Brilliant. I wonder who explained that one to her. (And people say I’m never mean.) But at least I never wonder what craftiness they’re up to. Loud drunk girls are nothing if not straightforward and can be eliminated by the one-time purchase of a white noise machine. Hammering on the other hand. . .
The sky-bors in the second floor apartment are, evidently, of the artsy persuasion. All I know is that they are girls who are students at Montserrat, the local art college. I can only imagine they are majoring in carpentry, as I have now heard a hammer, drill, and saw on a regular basis. I can’t quite understand why they aren’t out on the Beverly Common smoking a joint with the rest of the freshmen, but maybe my imagination is inhibited due to sleep deprivation. I can feel the pounding of the hammer in my chest as I try to fall asleep. No, we’re not talking that pound-pound-okay-the-nail-is-in-so-hang-up-the-damn-picture kind of pounding. This is hammering with a vengeance; hammering with intent.
I almost wonder (as I hear the loud clatter of a hammer being dropped and the rhythmic friction of a saw) if this is my own personal set-up for a scary movie. Saw 6: Murder on Prospect Hill or something. How cliché. The recent college graduate in her first apartment, eking out a living to the odd surround sounds of the upstairs-dwellers until one fateful day . . .
And if I am to escape the saga unscathed, my curiosity may not survive it. What they could possibly be building? It’s not as if they can remodel. Yet the wall next to my bed is actually shaking with the increasing rhythmic pumping of the saw and the windows vibrate with each piece of wood that hits their floor (my ceiling). Maybe I will never find out. Maybe it will become my very own Pandora’s Box. Or maybe. . . as it has been suggested. . . nothing is being built and the upstairs-ers are just into kinky carpentry sex.
Ah situational humour. My life is rife with it. I could be my very own sitcom. In fact, I’m flashing back to the Friends episode with old man with the broom. Those of you that care know which one I mean. I’d probably make a killing and the real clincher of the series popularity would be the neighbor issues. Like Desperate Housewives. Only instead it’s more like Degenerate Housemates. Or maybe just Poor Desperate Inconsiderate Young Adults. But maybe not. I wouldn’t watch that one.
Oh I almost did not mention our NEW housemate. It would appear that the Kafka protagonist that has taken up residence in the bathroom. Think less social commentary and more big-assed bug. The near-two-inch, chubby bugger of a bug scuttled its way into our awareness on Monday night and then, after a memorable interlude, slid out through a crack in the wall. So far, no calls, but we have a feeling that she (we call her Roxy) will be back. And when she does. . . well, we’re not sure we’re ready for it.
So now that you’ve heard a titch about al the housemates and neighbors, I hope it makes you thank your lucky stars you don’t have centipedes-on-steroids that rule the bathroom. But take everything I say with much humour, because, when all is said and done, that is definitely what I have done. This particular protagonist of Saw 6 is acting as a scary-movie protagonist should: happy where she is and blissfully unaware of anything unfortunate that might (hopefully won’t) be in the cards.