When I was in High School, I wrote a paper on why a person should love their enemies. The basic argument was that you should love your enemies because without them, your life would be boring and unchallenging. I had to read the paper out loud in class and in one of those personal awe moments where you realize you're good at something, I noticed my English teacher's jaw actually drop, while the rest of the class looked confused. I bring this up at the beginning of my story about my ex-neighbor Angela, because of two points. One, you never know what stupid, annoying thing in your life will turn out to be the thing that makes it interesting. And two, at times you have to cut through a lot of junk to see the genius of something.
Everyone has had an annoying neighbor. It's part of life and living in the real world. If you're a misanthrope, pretty much everyone is annoying. But if you're lucky, sometimes annoyance can turn into crazy and crazy is always entertaining. My wife and I got to experience this over a couple of years and let me tell you, it was worth the loss of sleep and interruptions. We used to have people come over and ask, "Do you think Angela's coming out tonight"? She was that entertaining. Of course, she was like a unicorn and we were the only people she would come out to.
It all started innocent enough. Angela and her husband moved in above us and she would go on her balcony to smoke. We were in non-smoking apartments but no big deal, just close the windows and deal with it. Then she started talking really loudly on her cell phone, or at least that's what we thought. Then came the constant in and out and slamming of doors. This is all completely normal when it comes to annoying neighbors. Then her late nights started getting later. At this point, annoying neighbor became too much for other neighbors to ignore and the "shut up" shouts started. Now we have "shut up" shouts and intense expletives flying back and forth between apartments in the quad. All through this, the loudest one being Angela. I'm sure there were plenty of noise complaints filed with the office. There were none from us though, we didn't want to get involved.
At some point, Angela's rage focused on the female neighbor directly across from her. They would shout back and forth the craziest trash talk you ever heard from two girls. One night, there was an altercation at Angela's front door. We knew it was the neighbor from across the way. There was a lot of screaming and the sounds of struggle. Eventually, the cops came and sorted it out, but later that night they were shouting at each from their balconies again.
There were a couple of nights where things would fly off of Angela's balcony. One night, as we were sitting, watching T.V., we could hear Angela fighting with her husband upstairs. It started getting crazy with screaming, doors slamming and bumping and banging. Next thing we know, a glass flies off their balcony into the street and shatters. Then they were fighting on their balcony and this large trash bag of cigarette buds and ash comes flying down onto our balcony. We had cigarette buds fly onto our balcony before, but nothing like this immense bag of ash. Then the sirens started coming. Four police cars later, Angela was dragged off screaming. I was cleaning up our balcony when her husband looked over the edge of his and said, "Dude, I'm sorry."
Angela was gone for weeks. It was so quiet.
We missed her.
Until that fateful day when she came back. And then I got to meet her! Her husband brought her down to apologize for all that she had done, including dumping ash on our balcony. When she apologized, I had no idea what to say. I think I said, "Okay, we all have those days." The funny thing is she is this little petite girl that looked so innocent. I was in shock. My wife was ticked. She couldn't believe she didn't get the chance to meet. her.
After our meet and greet, Angela tamed down a lot. But that didn't last long. The yelling and fighting started again. At some point, her husband moved out, which left her completely unchecked. She started blasting her music late at night. And of course, it was mostly techno, the most annoying music that can blast through your ceiling with the constant beat driving into your ear drums. I actually had to call in some noise complaints, to no avail. Bashing my hockey stick on the ceiling worked every once in awhile.
Some loss of sleep later, her music phase faded. She turned her energy back to yelling at the neighbors and howling at the sky. We got to hear some interesting stories about how we all owed her a debt for her military service and how the military police were trying to hunt her down. She would talk to her grandma on the phone and constantly go over how so and so stole her grandfather's ring that was supposed to be hers.
Towards the end, her husband came back off and on. They would have fights and then go out on the balcony and hash it out. They would try and have normal conversations, only to have them end with yelling and the husband storming out of the apartment. One day, they had a discussion about them being evicted. She wouldn't believe what he was telling her and insisted it was the heat of the military police. It was at this point, I knew the fun was over.
After Angela left, it got a lot quieter. And we were bummed. No more free entertainment. No more insanity to make us feel better about our own sanity. We never even saw them leave. We never got to say goodbye. We never got to say thank you.
And so we go on, looking for some more insanity to keep us entertained.
Music, Food, Hockey, and Society through the eyes of a misanthrope named Quez Def.