Sunday, May 23, 2010

Channeling Mrs. Kravitz

So the owner of the unit above me finally rented it out. I met the new tenant, and he seemed like a really sweet guy.  I was waiting for him to move in so I could have the very fun "The noise insulation between apartments above and below is pretty poor, and I don't know if you want me to hear you having sex, but I know I don't want to hear you having sex, so if you anticipate a healthy social life, a nice thick rug would be ever so appreciated."

I'd finally had this conversation with the last tenant after a year of being periodically woken by the sound of him having monotonous, excruciatingly boring, repetitive sex right above my head.

"I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming," the woman would chant. Endlessly. Like a really bad hip-hip song. One night, after about ten minutes of this, I almost screamed, "TALK IS CHEAP, AND ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, SWEETHEART!"

The way it worked, I'd be woken up by either her loud, clunky shoes clomping on the hardwood floor right above my head, or the very loud squeaking of the floor as she and her boyfriend stomped around ten feet from my head. (I don't know where these two met, but it was NOT ballet class.)

Then silence, then the frenzied squeaking of the floorboards as they had at it in the bed, then her chanting, then silence, then the stomping as they both clomped to the bathroom (the layout of our apartments is identical).

I tried sleeping on my futon in the living room, I tried playing a portable CD player in my bedroom. The thing is, if you live here, you KNOW how thin the floors and ceilings are, so you have to know that if the floorboards are squealing like a catfight as you're screwing, it's reading loud and clear to your neighbor below.  Who is most likely trying to sleep because it's after 1am.

There are those who fall into the camp of "it's always OK to make intrusive noise during sex," as though sex were some sacrosanct function to which everyone has to indulge being an unwilling audience. I fall into the "you have no right to include me in your sex life without my permission, or ruin my sleep or invade my privacy" camp. This camp is located next to camp "any noise that wakes me up at 1am is out of bounds, whether it's your CD player or the girlfriend you mechanically screw to preserve your self-delusion that you're straight."

Oh, yes, I had my theories.

So I finally asked him if he could put a rug down, but he moved out for reasons unrelated to this. Now, the owner of the unit is the president of the condo board, so I asked him to see whether his next tenant would put a rug down. I'm sure that his eagerness to rent the place (it was empty for several months) led him to omit requiring a bedroom rug in the lease, or even mentioning the issue. But I shall. Oh yes, I will. The new tenant seems very sweet, although he was assembling new furniture upstairs in anticipation of his official move-in tomorrow, and I had to go up and knock on his door. I'm trying to be optimistic about a man who hammers and pushes furniture around at 10:30pm on a Sunday night. He apologized and promised to keep the noise down, but he and his friend sound like they're doing gymnastics.

Then again, I have a stereo with some pretty good speakers.

Let the negotiations begin.

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