So, it seems I have a crazy neighbor.
PREFACE: DECEMBER 2015 - CHRISTMAS EVE, ACTUALLY
Nearly a year ago, in December, one of my neighbors came downstairs and asked me, essentially, to stop shutting my door so loudly. This was in December, I had just moved in, I was literally baking Christmas cookies. This guy rang the doorbell twice while I froze in my kitchen, dressed in a tank top and electric pink exercise shorts and a lot of flour. When I answered he kind of introduced himself and then said, like, “Hey I know the doors are kind of loaded to swing shut" (they are) "but can you try and close them more quietly?” and I remember I felt this quite the odd request. I knew I hadn’t been going around slamming my nice new doors, and I didn’t know how I felt about the request in general either. On Christmas Eve, you're coming downstairs and telling your new neighbor you find their door habits too loud. It just seemed like...there could've been a better time. Anyway, so what I told him was that I would work on it, a little like all stiff. Because I didn't think I should have to consciously tone down on closing my doors every time I did it in my very own apartment when the sound really wasn't that loud at all? Getting my own apartment was supposed to be about living with me for me, not regularly hoping I hadn't shut that door too loud just then. And that was it.
HERE OUR STORY TODAY BEGINS - OCTOBER 2016 - THE PAST TWO WEEKS
Til now I hadn’t heard anything more from the guy, which made me glad. I'd realized that sometimes, my interior doors would shut with a bang or even on their own, if I'd left all the windows open in the apartment, so I just braced them all open. Solved that problem, I hoped. I mean for once in my life, I was going to try out using the bathroom without closing the door. I was bachelor-lite and it was glorious.
Well, that was then.
Sometime last week, I was unloading things from my car. I had leave and re-enter the apartment to a few times. Maybe three. It was at night, past evening. I was at the car for my last intended trip when I heard someone clearly say, “What the fuck are you slamming the door for?”
Of course, I thought of my neighbor. The complaint was just the same, I couldn't not. But I hadn’t talked to him in months, since Christmas. I couldn't tell if it had been his voice. It was too dark to see anyone. No one was outside in the parking lot with me. So I looked around for a while, then returned to my business. I went in for the night. Maybe I stomped a little going up the stairs, but that was it.
Oh, and I checked the time, curious if maybe it was really, really late and I hadn't realized. It was 8 pm.
Sometime before that, one evening after I'd let myself in, something thunked on the floor upstairs. I figured someone had dropped something. You know, the way I do from time-to-time, quite common. I kind of wondered if that was what it sounded like to my lower neighbors, chuckled, and dismissed it.
Earlier this week I heard that thunk again, when I was coming home again, but it was much louder.
I hoped it wasn't my neighbor being passive aggressive. I definitely thought of it, at first, but I tried to tell myself it was too passive-aggressive and immature and plain crazy for a 40-year-old man, if upset somehow by his neighbor, to start dropping things on his floor thinking it would seriously bother me instead of coming downstairs, trying to be polite, and actually saying something about!
And even thinking like that had me thinking like maybe his request was reasonable, and I was the bitch here.
There was one afternoon I heard someone muttering about the door again while I was out checking my mail, but again, I wasn’t in the vicinity to see who it was or be sure it was my neighbor.
Then, yesterday morning - and now I know it was him.
Tuesday morning I was leaving the apartment, standing on the curb sending a final text before I started driving. This was around 6:30 in the morning. It was light enough out to see clearly.
The neighbor comes out on his balcony. I don't realize until he actually addresses me.
He says like “Do you think you can work on shutting the door more quietly?” or like something. I heard the mystery voice from the other night who'd cursed at me behind the dark as a first fix option. I didn't like how he was hanging out up on his balcony talking to me. Guys speaking down at you from balconies and guys speaking out at you from their cars are doing the same thing, and it's not trying to start a conversation. It's false. It's not a level interaction.
If I were a less angry person, I might've felt attacked. Intimidated, even. But I'm not. I don't go along to get along. I don't say thanks, one more.
I turned and I looked up at him. First blush, I was going to completely ignore him. His words were beneath my contempt. But then, because I'd been worried about this, and thought about this so much for the past two weeks, and mentally practiced confrontation after confrontation -
I said, "Take it to management," and walked, unafraid, straight line, for my car. Because Fuck. Him. He can take it to management. I'm leaving in 2 months. They're going to laugh at him. In the moment, I hoped to god he would.
Well while I walked he said, "Oh trust me, I will, I'm going to!" That wasn't enough and he added, "How about I start waking you up at 4 in the morning? How'll you like that?"
I walked off. I started my car, and I drove to work, and I thought.
I had emailed my notice of not renewing my lease (whatever that's called) last week and no one had confirmed it yet. I figured I should call to check with them, that they'd seen it. Then, since I had them on the phone, I would also let them know about these incidents with the neighbor, you know, just in case they heard from him later. Because fuq dat. If a crazy person is going to take something to the authorities, I am going to get ahead of them. I'm not going to be fucked by some bitter single old 40 year white guy who lives on his own and can't afford a townhouse's down payment. He can't pick on me just because I'm a 20-something small girl. He can't mess with this.
So I did.
There aren't any updates since.
I'll even add, to be clear, that the hours I am opening and shutting my door are not even crazy abnormal hours. Like the other night when he cursed at me? It was 8 PM. Yesterday at 6:30? What do you do, sleep for 12 hours, man?
IN CLOSING - TUESDAY NIGHT/WEDNESDAY MORNING - RESTLESS IN BED
I sat straight up in bed tonight. I poked Jess and I said, "I've got an idea. What if I find him some earplugs and I ship them to him? Then I won't even be getting on his turf. I feel like if I even try to knock on his door now it'll be an escalation, and this dude escalates enough for us both, I think! I can get him those cheap soft ones. They're probably online super cheap! I can do PRIME shipping!"
I haven't done it...yet. But I think it'd be pretty harmless.