My new home is a unique living arrangement. It’s a four-story, custom home and each level is a completely separate and fully equipped living space. Three families live here (including me). One family occupies the top two stories. Except that I park my car next to theirs in the driveway, I don’t really see or hear from them much. The middle level was recently rented out by a soon-to-be single-dad who has two children (not living with him full-time, but seemingly at their dad’s A LOT). And then there’s my sweet spot at the very bottom and back of the house.
I LOVE my new digs. The peace and serenity of living this close to nature is the reason I chose to live here. And, I’m accustomed to having people living upstairs from me after residing in a condo for 16 years. But that single dad is the most obnoxiously noisy person. I know he doesn’t mean to be and I’ve really had to take a hard look at why this bothers me so much (probably because I get woken out of a dead sleep from heavy shoes dropping over my head at midnight). However, there’s really NO buffer between his floor and my ceiling and he keeps the oddest hours (like moving furniture around at 10PM; seriously dude!). I’ve told him that I can hear EVERYTHING loudly and clearly (including the rendezvous he had the other night) and I’ve asked him (quite kindly I think) to respect lateness of hours, etc. But he seems totally clueless.
Some people lope and bound through their days, clip-clopping like Clydesdales hauling a heavy load. They move loudly through space and time and you can hear them a mile away, even though they aren’t saying a word. And when they do speak, they make no distinction between inside and outside voices; they simply yell what they have to say wherever they are, volleying cannon balls with booming voices.
So in honor of my new neighbor, I found this quite funny poem from Ogden Nash:
Photo Credit: A World of Poetry selected by Michael Rosen
The people upstairs all practice ballet.
Their living room is a bowling alley.
Their bedroom is full of conducted tours.
Their radio is louder than yours.
They celebrate weekends all the week.
When they take a shower, your ceilings leak.
They try to get their parties to mix
By supplying their guest with Pogo sticks,
And when their orgy at last abates,
They go to the bathroom on roller skates.
I might love the people upstairs wondrous
If instead of above us, they just lived under us.