Before HARDBARNED! became a book in 2016, it was a blog I began in 2008. It still is, from time to time, and you have found its home. Scroll through it all here, or browse selected posts at Medium. In case you were wondering…none of this blog content appears in the book, which is its own separate thing and mostly about working for a living. The blog is usually about pop culture-type stuff. Cheers.

Your Friendly Downstairs Neighbors (Part I)

For various reasons and more than once, I have left notes for neighbors with whom I have shared walls or ceilings and noise complaints. I thought it might be fun to post one of the notes here. 

These days, in our apartment complex, people yell at each other in the stairwell between our eight adjacent units and stomp and crash up and down the echo chamber of reverberating stairs, smoking their cigarettes and throwing them all over the place, creating noxious, stale clouds that linger in our shared alcove, their kids screaming, their booming systems blasting bass noise, shaking the walls, slamming the crap out of their doors, fucking and punching against the walls...

Living in an apartment can make you feel like George Clooney at the Oscars, almost pissed enough to beat up Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin simultaneously.

At least we're enjoying a momentary respite from neighbors, as the downstairs apartment below is is still vacant. I'm just glad we don't have the new neighbors that my friend in the next building over just encountered for the first time early on Sunday morning.

They woke him up with three consecutive rounds of drunken fighting, swearing, fucking, and puking. No kidding; one after the other, punctuated by oppressively loud music and slamming doors. Holy crap I wish I could afford a little bit of land and a house away from people.

So here's that letter from a few years ago. I posted it on their door. Does it make me sound like an asshole? I thought I seemed pretty reasonable.

Dear Upstairs Neighbors,
How are you? We’re pretty good. Just wanted to make a request. We’re not sure if you are aware of this or not, but every time you move around upstairs, we can hear it downstairs. We do realize that this happens when you live in an apartment building.
The problem is this. Pretty often we hear ridiculously loud stomping, scraping and crashing upstairs in your apartment, late at night. It sounds like you are moving furniture, sumo wrestling, herding cattle and practicing the shuttle run.
This noise happens a lot, again, late at night, and it wakes us up. For example, one of us was awakened last night around 2AM by what sounded like someone lifting weights and dropping dumbells on the floor. The exact same thing happened the night before as well.
We know we are going to hear you sometimes, and you may hear us sometimes. The thing is, we both work early in the morning, and therefore are asleep by 10:30 or 11 most nights. Perhaps this somehow hasn’t occurred to you before?
We have had encounters previously over this and we don’t wish to have any more. This is our friendly request for you to make a significant effort to be quiet at night. We really appreciate it.
Thanks for listening.
Your friendly Downstairs Neighbors