Saturday, March 8, 2008

Love thy Neighbor.

This afternoon I was sitting here doing my thing and the neighbor decided to crank his stereo; it was blaring loud and vibrating my desk. I took a deep breath, and after some time walked to the deli for a cup of tea. On my way back, I knocked on his door. Of course the music was too loud for him to hear me so I knocked on his back door too. Finally, he came around to the front and opened with a big swing.

I took one look at him: young, in a wife beater, baseball hat on backwards, jeans low and dragging. He kicked the dog back into his apartment. "Dude," I said with my palms in the air. "What?! It isn't even that loud," he said, of course aware of why I was knocking. "I'm sorry," I said, "but it's killing me." He snorted and rolled his eyes and shut the door on me without another word.

I could hear it from the street, really from down the street. The whole building heard it. What I really wanted to say was, "and what a stupid little shit you are for blasting Nirvana, Nirvana?! For god's sake." I was so bothered that this kid didn't have enough decency to talk to me like a human being. And closed the door on me like that.

Then I realized, he was treating me like I was his Mom. It was as if I had told him to clean his room. I went into the bathroom and took a good, long look at myself in the mirror. Yup, 40 this year. Then I did a very Mom thing: I cooked up a delicious hot pot of homemade soup. I filled a container with the steaming stuff and hanged it on his door - he had gone out during the cooking - with a napkin and the following note:

Hi there,
Here's some homemade soup; I just boiled it up this evening. It seems appropriate to bring you soup because that's what Moms do - and today you talked to me like I was your Mom. But really I'm just your friendly neighbor, living on the other side of a very thin wall, trying to write a book. Thank you for turning the music down and if in the future I am ever making too much noise for you, I hope you will let me know.
Thank you, Ann 2R

It's really good soup and unless he's a little put off by the witch-like "boiled it up" I hope he will eat it and like it.



Blogger Heige said...

So, what happened? Did he eat your soup? Did he leave a sweet note on your door? What about your tupper ware? Did he return it? I loved the way you handled this... I too had similar experiences but I remember turning to more psychotic thoughts... I didn't act it out though...

April 1, 2008 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger L A Neumann said...

Of course I never got the container back - I used a disposable one, like you get potato salad in from the grocery. And I have not heard or seen a thing of him since! Although his big dog does do some barking sometimes. Yeah, I still get a giggle. This reaction was probably more effective than many other possibilities, like leaving a bag of dog shit on his welcome mat or something.

April 2, 2008 at 8:33 AM  

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