ay i'm about to fucking kill somebody. a few months ago i was sitting at home, changing my sheets while listening to rachel maddow recount the highlights of the some senate committee meeting, when i heard the worst sound i have ever heard in my life except for that one time a dude audibly cried while i was generously giving him a blowjob: the sound of my kitchen ceiling splitting painfully in half, followed by a deluge of water crashing thunderously to the counter, sink, and floor below. before i could even grasp what was happening, before i could even unfold the useless martha stewart for target dishtowel i would attempt to throw helplessly atop the tide pool, i heard the pitter patter of raindrops echoing from the adjacent bedroom i'd just left. horrified, i rounded the corner to see water streaming down the same wall this motherfucker upstairs ruined the last time he nonchalantly decided to ruin my goddamned life. two seconds later it was raining in my bedroom, too. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS, A PLAGUE. helen, who keeps a packed suitcase by the door at all times in case i act up, was like, "bitch, i'm going to laura's."
i know you don't get to decide how the people around you live. i have had my own place since i was 18, and i figured out early on that i had absolutely zero say in the choices my building's cohabitants made, despite how counterintuitive they might appear to me and my own life decisions. for instance, the gentleman who rented the apartment next to mine on ravenswood who would string his sopping wet laundry from our "porch." which, if you've ever been to chicago, you understand to mean "square foot section of threadbare plywood threatening to plummet you to your death if you so much as drink a beer while standing on it." the back of our building overlooked a paved alley littered with abandoned car parts, jagged rocks, and shards of broken glass. fighting my way through the tangle of dishwater grey underpants that smelled like burnt fish grease and car exhaust was the worst part of of my day, but unless i married that dude i couldn't say shit about it. and maybe he didn't like the way i spent every evening quietly sobbing to stereolab records while eating hundreds of calories' worth of my feelings, but oh yeah it never affected him because i didn't hang my snot rags and cheese-eating pants outside where he might trip over them on his way out with the trash.
i wouldn't want anyone to dictate my goddamned choices, which is why i refuse to ever buy a condo. (see also: extreme poverty.) the idea of regular-ass people fine tooth combing over my credit history while i shift awkwardly in a puddle of sweat as they decide whether or not my criminal record is white collar enough for me to move my collection of old sassy magazines into the square foot windowless box next to the one the live in. you can't tell at a glance that the woman across the hall will regularly f ight with her boyfriend and force him to sleep in the hallway outside your door, and the first morning i discovered him i was like, "FUCK I JUST SIGNED THIS GODDAMNED LEASE." then i learned that if you run a cool-mist humidifier on the highest setting 24 hours a day and blast kanye's "graduation" through your noise-canceling headphones not only will you feel like you live inside a fancy spa but you will also drown out 98% of the arguments wrought between furious macy and her ever-penitential kevin. my nasal passages have never been so clear!
so the kid upstairs. when it happened the first time he bravely came bounding down the stairs and knocked on my door, wagging his tail while offering to "help with a mop" as my mattress and my macbook pro floated past us down the hallway. i even felt kind of bad for him? BECAUSE HE'S OBVIOUSLY NOT VERY SMART. but then it happened again, a deluge of swamp water streaming horror movie-style down the new walls that had just begun to dry from the last motherfucking time, followed over the course of the next several weeks by some missing package deliveries and his newfound interest in a muffled cacophony that can only be described as "making shitty hip hop beats." i'm done with this fool. it's time to get his ass back.
first i was thinking i might release a bag of spiders under his door. bugs don't gross me out or scare me. did you know that there are millions of microscopic bugs living in your eyebrows and shit? EIGHT-LEGGED DEMODEX MONSTERS. face mites are real and spend their entire life cycles tucked away inside our hair follicles, plotting evil from within. that means everything they do: mating, laying eggs, eating oil and dead skin cells, happens in your goddamned face. so i'ma be worried about a bag full of crickets strategically placed outside his crib? NAH, BRO. there are tiny arachnids shitting and fucking in my hair follicles. are bed bugs commercially available? i know they could potentially ruin my life as much if not more than his, but that's a risk i'm willing to take. do i know any roach dealers? IF SO, GET AT ME.
or maybe i could just buy a barking dog cd and play that shit on repeat? i would be risking eviction as ours is a cat-only residence, but it might kind of totally be worth it. a few years ago one of my friends moved to this pretty sweet studio in logan whose only drawback was a dog across the courtyard with an untreated case of separation anxiety that resulted in obnoxious barking from eight in the morning until whenever its owner arrived home in the evening. reason 5,874,239 i will never own a dog: that asshole could get me kicked out of my goddamn house due to an imaginary joke disease that i would have to become a recluse to cure. the only thing more eardrum-shredding than a crying baby is a barking dog, especially one not close enough to throw your shoe at. (oh settle down, i would never throw a shoe at someone's dog.)
ooh! what if i stopped his mail!? i'm pretty sure that he signed for the giant box of topricin cream and joint supplements ups delivered to my building the other day, but i can't be totally sure because THAT SHIT NEVER MADE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING DOOR. what kind of asswipe steals someone's arthritis medicine? especially the topical kind!? i mean, come the hell on. pills i can understand, but unscented homeopathic mobility cream? shame on you, my dude. fucking with the mail is a felony blah blah blah but listen, there are only so many joke pizzas i can send to this dude's crib. he probably wouldn't even be mad, as every time we have awkwardly shared an elevator ride his eyelids have been at half mast. that'll teach him, all his comic books and shit sent to some unsuspecting jerk on the other side of town. except who the fuck even gets mail anymore? i'm the only asshole rushing straight home from work to check for the latest issue of glamour in the post. it would probably be a relief for homeboy's electric bill to end up somewhere in minnesota. meanwhile money i owe from ten years ago has followed me to four consecutive apartments. just my fucking luck.
here's a thought: i could start a motherfucking heavy metal band. but a kind of moist one since i can only play the fruity piano and the clarinet. anyone wanna start a liturgical quartet!? i guess my only recourse is to move into the apartment above his and do work. somebody bring over a goddamn bassoon. TURN DOWN FOR WHAT.