You can’t make this stuff up.
Last night I was about to go to bed and once again I heard my upstairs neighbor stomping around. I imagine him doing hopscotch and I am both furious and envious at the same time. I love hopscotch.
I sat there on my couch with my laptop listening. My heart pounded as I knew it was time for a confrontation. The problem with confrontation is that I dread it. I dread it the same way I used to dread coming home from school when I knew that I was going to get a spanking. The same way I dread going to Wal-mart because I know it is going to be filled with half-crazy people who are probably hopped up on crystal-meth and if they aren’t hopped up on crystal-meth, they are buying large quantities of Sudafed so they can make it.
I am sitting in my boxers on my couch and so I put on my jeans. I am wearing a black sleeveless t-shirt and I had just done a huge upper-body workout and so I look and feel huge.
I am barefoot as I make my way up the stairs. With each step my heart beats faster and faster, like the way your heart beats when you are about to go on a killing spree. I think I have seen my neighbor and so I am not afraid of him, but what if he has a gun or a hostage? Why else would he awake only after 10pm? I am sure that if I knock on the door I will see a sweaty female duct-taped to a chair. I imagine that the room is poorly lit and I can see a red ice-chest with a white lid. Inside the ice-chest is most likely kilos of uncut cocaine or fresh kidneys. The air is probably redolent with stale smoke and sour sweat. The stench hangs in the air like an angel of death.
I knock on the door. No one answers. I see that someone is peering through the peep hole and so I try to look menacing – something I do effortlessly. I hear scurrying and I imagine that behind this closed door, an over-sized cock roach awaits. I picture other cockroaches perhaps sitting around player poker. One of them has long tentacles that are shaking – an obvious “tell”.
I knock again and wait. I figure that like cockroaches they have scurried beneath the cabinets. Some roaches appear huge but can flatten themselves down to the width of a dime.
I decide that whoever lives here is an obvious coward and that I will have to go back downstairs and write them a note. I feel strong and huge like I just injected each bicep with a shot of high quaility Winstrol or Decabol – some of the best and most potent steroids.
As I make my way to my door the upstairs door opens. First one Asian man appears wearing a wife beater and a maroon towel cinched at the waist. I step back a few paces from the balcony because I fear that at this angle I might see exposed man-parts and seeing old Asian man-parts is almost as frightening as seeing a member of Al-Queda in the airport.
“Hey” I say to get the guys attention. My words summon two more Asians onto the balcony. They are both wearing wife beaters and maroon towels. They appear to be escapees from a refugee camp. One of them looks like Mr. Miagi the other like Jackie Chan with grey hair. Before any of them have a chance to speak I start to tell them. “I live here and I go to sleep in the back room and it is too loud. Please stop stepping so loudly.” They look at me like they are slightly confused. I have no idea why they would be confused because I have used a series of hand gestures so overt that they could not be misinterpreted. (picture me using my hands stomping like footsteps here)
Finally the first one says, “Stay quiet in the back room? Only the back room?” He says this like he has only been speaking English for a few years. I responded with a nodding of my head and a verbal “Yes!“.
All three of the men start saying, “Oh, okay” and they sort of bow as they walk backwards into the door.
I try to go to sleep in my newly quit bedroom but I am listening so hard for the slightest sound that I can’t sleep. I want them to be silent as lambs going to the slaughter, I don’t want to hear a peep out of them.
They are very quiet, but someone stomps just once through the bedroom apparently someone late to get the memo. I wait. I hold my breath. I fear another confrontation coming on. Then… Silence.
It’s so quiet and wonderful and I feel so good about saying something and not avoiding confrontation that I am wide freaking awake. I have enough adrenaline coursing through my veins that I could climb Mt. Everest in a couple hours if necessary.
I get up and gulp down a large amount of Vanilla Tylenol PM. I sleep deeply and dream vividly of the Karate Kid and Mr. Miagi. They are practicing the Crane Kick in the upstairs apartment and I am afraid to go and tell them to stop… but that doesn’t stop me. I put the jeans back on and the everything starts back over again.