Elephant People Upstairs
I've been living in the same apartment since June 2007. The Elephant Man and his . . . live-in . . . moved in a couple months later. Almost from the get-go, they made an excessive amount of noise. Luckily, not party noise, but stomping and yelling. The first memorable experience was when they decided to have a fight at about four in the morning. Well, it was more like Elephant Man was fighting with Sara ("I'm thirty-f***ing-five years old, Sara. You're twenty-five! I don't need this s***!" SLAM SLAM.) and she was just crying. He's a belligerent psycho, so approaching them is not an option.
I've never been in their apartment, yet I know they have two recliners, because they literally SLAM the footrests back into place every time they get up (which they seem to need to do every three minutes or so.) If you've never heard a recliner from below, it reverberates like a tuning fork after the initial slam. Elephant Man was on the phone with his ex-wife one night at about three in the morning, cursing her, calling her a "f***ing c***" (something about custody arrangements for the Elephant Children, who we'll visit later in the post), finishing by throwing the phone across the room until it clattered right above my bed.
Sara, from what I gather, did not work until just a couple weeks ago (so well over a year). I don't know if she was an online student like me or if they split shifts or whatever, but there was always one of them home during the day. I always know when he's home, because he just drones ON and ON and ON (must be on the phone). I've only seen him once; he looks like Eminem.
The Elephant Children visit most weekends, and they've started to visit on weekday evenings, too. That's where it gets unbearable. They literally do not stop stomping across the floor for five minutes at a time, all day. They THUNDER up and down the stairs (theirs is a townhouse-type unit with an upstairs), and they'll fly off the last couple steps with a crash that shakes the pictures on my wall. He's always bellowing at them, but not about the noise. "Carter! Finish your f***ing cereal and move your a**!" "Stop your goddamn whining!"
I filed a complaint a year ago after they (the adults) stomped around like elephants at four a.m., jumping up and down (Why? Anyone?) until my curio shelf fell off the wall and I had to pick up broken glass for an hour so my cat wouldn't step in it. The nighttime noise got better, but I had to complain again in September. See, water had leaked from their terrace and damaged my ceiling, and one afternoon Elephant Man was jumping up and down in one place so hard that the ceiling seam was bowing inwards, and the paint was cracking.
I've swallowed hundreds of complaints and only filed those two. But I'm sending another letter as soon as I go out, because today the Elephant Children outdid themselves. Thing is, I've been spending most of my time for months at my mother's just to get away from them. Probably fifteen or twenty days a month, at least. And that's not fair, because I pay rent to have my own living space, right? If you have the top floor, you get to not deal with people upstairs (even the quietest ones are sometimes loud, I know), but you have to be careful about noise that the downstairs can hear. If you're on the ground floor, it's reversed. You can't have it both ways.
Please tell me that even if it's primarily in the daytime, there's still some rule that protects me. I work second shift and need to sleep until about 11 or so. I don't wake up when they're going through their morning routine on weekdays, but the children can wake me out of a dead sleep, so it's not that I'm a light sleeper. I tried earplugs once, but didn't hear my alarm go off, so that's not a viable option. No one should have to listen to deliberate stomping regardless of the time of day.