If you follow my twitter or facebook account , you’ve probably seen me complain about my next door neighbor. I often tell tales (in 140 characters of less) of the constant barrage of loud music coming from the other side of my bedroom wall. I figure it might be fun to take a deeper look into this and really give you guys the full picture of what I’m dealing with over here.
So, I moved into the building I currently live in over ten years ago. For the most part, I pretty much keep to myself. I say hi to everyone in the hallway and I’m always cordial (I’ll hold a door for a bitch, no question bro) but I’m not exactly trying to buddy up with anyone in my building. Which is fine cause it would appear the feelings are mutual. As long as I’ve been here, I really have only had frequent interactions with two different people. My upstairs neighbor ,who is very social and actively in peoples business. I don’t even mean that in a bad way. He’s just kinda like the self appointed mayor of the building. He knows everyone and also knows what’s going on constantly. If I need info on who’s moving in or out of the building or what store is opening up next door, he’s the guy. So, while he’s a little bit nosey, he’s a good guy. No issues with him. My next door neighbor is a retired fire marshall (I think…he might have just been a fireman). He’s very much an “old new yorker”. He talks with the accent and has that nature that reminds me of the people who used to work in butcher shops on Bleeker street when I was a kid. To me, it’s a very familiar and comforting disposition. Unlike my upstairs neighbor, he was pretty much a ghost in the building…until about 5 years ago.
Five years ago. That’s when I started to notice a lot of extra traffic in the hallways scurrying by my door. Mornings, daytime, late night. I’d often come home from a night out and run into what would appear to be 6 foot tall women with terrible make up jobs in my buildings hallway. Oh wait…those aren’t women.
Turns out, my quiet neighbor had a taste for cross dressers. Not just any cross dressers. He had a type. Mostly it was black and latino dudes. This came as a shock to me cause, up until that point, I thought he had a wife/girlfriend. But, turns out he didn’t. Whatever the case, it wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t bothered by it and the guy was entitled to enjoy his life whatever way he pleased. It was more a funny side note of “Did you know my neighbor bones drag queens?”. This behavior continued for the next few years as it appeared my neighbor was coming into his own as a gay man. I don’t know if he hadn’t been out before but there was a definitive upswing in his openness about it. Good for him.
Flash forward to about 2 years ago and I get a knock on my door. It’s my neighbor, adorned in a way too small silk robe , his chest peaking out and his deeply white thighs also making their presence known. He informs me that a friend of his is moving in with him. We both have duplexes and his new roommate would be getting free reign of the bottom floor (the room on the other side of the wall of where my girlfriend and I sleep AKA my bedroom AKA my studio). He also tells me that if he’s too noisy or anything like that, let him know and it will be taken care of. Okay. I didn’t think much about beyond “Oh, hey, my neighbor has a new boyfriend. “. But , soon, I’d realize that this was not just a new relationship being taken to the next level. This wasn’t you typical “people moving in together” situation.
From that day on, I’d see his new man in the halls. He was a young bow legged latino guy. Maybe 22 or so. He looks like one of madonna’s dancers from the late 90’s. From what I understand, he was/is a dancer. But one thing is for sure, this motherfucker LOVES music. How do I know this? Cause from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed, music is blasting. Always. Now, this is annoying on many levels. I’ve had neighbors like this before. I’ve also been the loud music neighbor. But in all those cases, there have been some limits. With this guy, it’s not only a constant flood of music, but it’s a constant flood of very particular music. Much like his older boyfriend, he’s got his taste. And it spans far and wide from 3 different Rihanna songs to the song “girls gone wild” by madonna to a Britney spears live concert.
That’s it. That’s all he listens to. For the last 2 fucking years. Sure, occasionally he’ll spice it up with some salsa music and he went through a brief Lady Gaga stage but, for the most part, it’s steadily been those specific songs for the entire time he’s lived there. And not just sporadic plays. I’m talking repeated plays , back to back of the same song for hours on end. Did I mention he sings along? You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a Dominican cross dresser sing “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” off key at the top of his lungs. There are feelings and emotions possessed in that performance that I will never reach in my wildest dreams.
Every hear Britney spears rendition of “I love rock and roll”? I have. Performed through a brick wall, 15 times a day for 2 years. Feel me?
Whenever I tell people about this, their immediate reaction is “have you complained?”. Of course I have. After a few incidents of 6am music blasting , new rules were made. No music before 11am or after 11 pm. This held up for a few weeks until the parties picked up again. But this has been a constant back and forth. I complain, the noise stops for a few weeks , then it starts again. Such is the cycle of life, my friends. One thing I should point out is that my neighbor (the older guy, not the kid) is nothing if not accommodating. He’s not deaf and is always willing to tell his roommate to shut the fuck up. In fact, it goes beyond that. After Hurricane Sandy, the buildings communal backyard was a mess. I was back there moving some shit around when my neighbor popped out (silk robe in full effect). He asked that ,if i needed any help he could get his “wetback boyfriend” to come do some work. Umm…okay. That’s when I started to realize that this living arrangement was not on equal ground to , say, what happened when my girlfriend moved in. Pretty sure the the young madonna dancer didn’t get to do any redecorating. These two were not taking trips to Ikea together . They were not as much a couple as they were an agreement This living situation was dependent on two things.
1)That young Madonna stays downstairs
2)Sexual favors are exchanged.
In fact, it’s safe to say it’s an open relationship. How do I know? Probably by the constant flood of loud gay latino men , who spend various nights hooting and hollering next door. Inevitably, the hooting and hollering will simmer down and all of a sudden, thinks get a little more greek up in there.
Listen. Couples have sex. It’s natural. I know this. Also, non-couples have sex. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these two consenting adults enjoying each others company in a romantic manner. I just sorta wish I didn’t have to hear it. As it all takes place on the other side of my bedroom wall, I’m party to a pretty consistent and unsettling sex life between a man in his mid 60’s and his little “wetback boyfriend”. At any given moment , on any given day, I will hear the sounds of love being made. This love, however, has it’s own very particular sounds. Deep guttural moans, slapping (not sure if that’s hands or thighs colliding or both), and a soft latino whimper of “aye. Aye. AYE!!!”. Occasionally, it will simply be a head session and then I get to hear what it sounds like when a dude with a thick brooklyn accent gets orally pleased. Guess what? it sounds exactly what you might think it sounds like: UNNERVING. Unlike the music, I really can’t complain about this. It’s none of my business and it’s what couples do. But…goddamn…that shit is ROUGH to have to try to sleep though.
I recently have started combating all this noise with noise of my own. In classic passive aggressive white guy style, I’ve taken to blasting loud gangster rap right back whenever this dudes music starts blasting and , you know what? It works. No clue why but it seems whenever my music goes on, his goes off. Who knew? So, as the summer approaches and I prepare for whatever that may have in store for my neighbor and his many different sounds, things are actually looking up. Who knows? Perhaps by august they’ll be tired of fucking each other like most old couples and life will go back to normal. One can only dream…
Well, it’s almost a year to the day since I wrote this and a beautiful thing has happened. A week or two ago, my girlfriend commented “I haven’t heard our friend in a while…”. She was right. No blasting Rihanna songs, not feet clopping around and not guttural sex sounds that make balls jump back into my stomach. Nothing. It would appear his time has passed. I don’t know where he went, I don’t know why he left but he’s gone. He’s out of here and I could not be happier. So, Bon Voyage, you fucking asshole. It was fun (for you) while it lasted. I can only hope the next lonely old man you grift a home out of will be as kind and well…absent as my neighbor was. In his honer, I will dim the lights in my apartment and blast MAdonna’s “girls gone wild” by candlelight tonight. Goodbye, sweet prince.