Monday, October 29, 2012

Memory Lane Monday: My Shit-Hole Apartment (Part 7)

I'm very excited about this edition of Memory Lane Monday, mostly because I'm writing it from home and not my office where I work my "real job" thanks to Frankenstorm that is bearing down upon us. My office is closed today which means I got to sleep in this morning and I'm pretending I'm a real writer today. Working from home is a little tricky. I have my iPod plugged in to my head so that I can drown out the sound of Boyfriend's TV shows and the sounds of our crazy neighbor going berserk in the hallway because of the door to the roof that the wind keeps blowing opened and closed because it's not secure. Yes, that's right. A potentially very deadly mash-up of three severe weather events are bearing down upon us and the door to the roof does not stay shut. So, I better pump out this blog fast before water starts pouring on us. Speaking of shit storms and crazy neighbors, here is a riveting tale of the craziest neighbor ever:

Living Away From Home Year I've Lost Count
The Neighbor From Hell
(I Wish Zombies Ate Her, Then She'd Be Easier to Deal With)

So, I was finally all moved in to my miracle of a studio apartment in Astoria living by myself for the first time in my adult life. I had a great-paying job that I was struggling to enjoy and do well, but I was making enough money to pay my bills, plus buy some nice things, pay off my debt, and start a savings account. My plan was to stay at that restaurant for a year and build a nice little nest egg and then try and get either a serving job or a bar-tending job so I could continue to pursue auditions and acting jobs. They say that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Well I hope he had the best laugh ever because then at least someone enjoyed 2008.
I was working as a hostess at a high-end restaurant in a swanky hotel in Midtown Manhattan. My boss was kind of a weird guy, but seemed ok. I got along well with the other hostesses and the bar manager just fine, but my direct supervisor was one of the biggest bitches I have ever had to work with in my life. Her name was Toby. She had some sort of power trip thing going on and was also one of those women that had some sort of complex with other women. She was pretty, but really short and seemed to hate anyone taller than her who was female, which included me. I think the fact that I was also blond and pretty gave her more fuel for her hate fire. She picked on ever little thing I did or didn't do. Nothing I did/wore/said was good enough for her. I didn't really care if she liked me or not, but it made work so much more pleasant when she wasn't up my ass about everything. On top of dealing with Toby, I had to spend all night on my feet on marble floors, dealing with rich snotty customers. Plus, no matter how early I got to my shift, the first 90+ minutes of every evening were filled with stress, chaos, and rushing around.  For a girl who was struggling with some self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, this work environment was not a healthy one.  So, needless to say all I wanted to do when I got home at night/early morning was relax. Well, the universe clearly had other plans.

Enter my downstairs neighbor, 5F or as I nicknamed her: "Psycho McCrazytown" (you'll understand why soon enough.) Our first meeting occurred on miracle day when Boyfriend and I were attempting to move all of my stuff into the apartment. Yes, it was very late at night/early morning when we finished and we were trying to be as quiet as possible, but we were making noise. I won't deny it. Moving is noisy business. As I was trying to quietly set down a chest of drawers when there was a pounding on my new apartment door. Assuming it was Boyfriend needing help, I answered. I was greeted by a disheveled angry face. She informed me that she lived downstairs and then yelled about all the noise and demanded I stop because I was keeping her awake. I apologized profusely for the noise and informed her that I was just moving in and that we were nearly done and then it would be quiet. This seemed to appease her enough to make her go away, and I did feel really bad for waking her up, but my sympathy does have a shelf-life.

Once Boyfriend and I finally got all of my stuff into the apartment and moved to one corner so that the super could still do some minor work before I could officially live there, we dropped off the moving truck and went to Boyfriend's apartment to sleep. I stayed with Boyfriend for almost a week until the Super called me to tell me I could move in (this is important.) Because I was working 40+ hours a week and was exhausted when I came home each night from work, it took at least a month to get my apartment entirely in order. But, in the first few days I was living there, I did buy some shelves for my bathroom to get organized. One fateful Friday at work, it looked like it was going to be a very late night which meant overtime pay, but also meant not getting home until around 2am. I made the not-so-wise decision to make myself a quad-shot cappuccino in the middle of the shift to plow though the rest of the night. This meant I was all kinds of jittery and hyped up even after I finally arrived home. 3am is not the best time to try to put together shelves for your bathroom. But I did anyway. I needed something to burn off the excessive energy I had. I tried to be quiet, but as I would soon learn, my definition of quiet is not the same as 5F's definition.

My door bell rang violently at 3:30am.  Now, in NY doorbells are not the nice little "bing-bong" us suburban kids are used to.  No.  They are evil sounding noises that resemble psycho cries a la Xena Warrior Princess.   So, I was already on edge because of all the espresso AND now the doorbell had scared the ever-loving shit out of me.  I opened my door to my angry downstairs neighbor (I still to this day don't even know her name, she never offered it.)   She proceeded to go on a huge tirade about how noisy I was and how I have been keeping her awake for 2 weeks. (Remember that part about me living with boyfriend for almost a week? Yeah. I couldn't have been bothering her for 2 weeks because I hadn't actually been living there for that span of time. It was probably more like 2 days.)

 I apologized for making noise, but she cut me off. She started on a tangent about the plumbing and complaining about things that had nothing to do with anything.  I said I was sorry and that didn't know what she was hearing those other times because I wasn't here. She finally went away. I stopped my project, and eventually settle down enough to get some sleep.

Cut to: Eight (yes, 8) hours later.  Almost NOON on a Saturday.  I decided to tackle the shelves again.  I was making far less noise at this point, I had put a towel on the wood floor where I was working so as to deter any thumping or scraping for Psycho 5F downstairs.  Again, less than 5 minutes after I started, the scary angry doorbell screamed at me again. By the time I got over to the door, Psycho 5F was out in the hall complaining in a shrill voice to the superintendent's wife, who lived down the hall from me.  I dared to venture out in the hall to ask what's wrong and she went nuts again about the noise. This exchange took place:

Me: It's like 11am.  What do you want me to do?  I'm sorry I woke you up at 3, but that was 8 hours ago.  It's Saturday, I need to put together my furniture, I work all the time and don't have time to do it during the week.

Psycho 5F: (Q
uieter but still pissed) So, this is still "moving noise?"
Me: Yes
Psycho 5F: So this is not "recreational noise?"
Me: No.  I don't drop bowling balls from the ceiling for fun or anything. (I'm a smart ass, I know)
Psycho 5F: Well that's what it sounds like.  You know when I come home, I take off my shoes, I try to be respectful...(I stopped listening after this)
Me: (Looking down at my bare feet)  I'm not wearing shoes, I'm in bare feet. 

Just so she'd get the picture, I lifted up my foot and stuck it up in the air near her face so she could see.  She got even more pissy and I just closed the door to her huffing down the stairs screaming "I've never heard so much noise in this apartment before..!"

The best part about this neighbor of mine? She was not some cranky 80-year-old woman. She was maybe about 29.

I spoke to the Super's wife later that day to apologize for the intrusion and to explain my side of the story so I wouldn't get evicted.  The Super's wife informed me not to worry about it because 5F was apparently heavily medicated and imbalanced in some way and they mostly ignored her anyway.


Thus began a year-long power struggle with Pills McGee in 5F. She complained to the Super and his wife  about every little noise that came from my apartment, and then it got out of hand to the point where I suspected that she might actually climb the fire escape and attempt to stab me in my sleep. But the best Psycho 5F encounters and shit storms were yet to come.

To Be Continued...

Dear 5F please please get eaten by a zombie.

I did not make this awesome cross stitch. I found it here, but there is no source listed. If you know, please tell me so I can attribute it properly.

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