This wasn’t very Buddhist of me, but I could not resist.
Last Tuesday, our new neighbors moved into the house immediately to our east. Thursday night was garbage and recycling night, so Bryan put out all of our blue bins: paper, cardboard, and two bins worth of plastic & glass. Pickup is Friday during the day. After work Friday, Bryan brought in our bins and noticed that one was missing. He also noticed that our new neighbors had a bin on their front porch that looked a lot like ours. And so it was.
Now, we’ve had a lot of troubles recently with neighbors: drug dealing, drunken rants, a crack house. And this was all on property owned by our landlord, the church. Additionally, my period is due any second now, a state that makes me “irritable” . So I went next door, saw that the blue bin on their porch was indeed ours, dumped the recycling they had already put in it on their porch, and took my property home.
They hadn’t lived there four days before they started stealing our shit. I was not impressed. Last night was the kicker. Bryan, Brianna, and I all woke up around 2 a.m. Apparently the bars had closed so the neighbors brought the party to their front porch, which sits beneath our bedroom window. We’re not talking sitting on the porch drinking beer and chatting. We’re talking yelling, loud music, and general ignorant mayhem.
Now remember, the church owns the properties and we live in a smallish suburb of Toronto—not the kind of place where you expect loud partying at 2 a.m., even on a Saturday night. My rule of thumb is if you wake up my child, you are too loud. They were too loud. Bryan and I considered calling the cops, but we didn’t want to go that route. We just closed the windows facing that side and tried to get back to sleep. Bryan wasn’t very successful with that and ended up not being able to get to sleep until 3:30 or so. Apparently, they partied for a good hour, until 3 or so.
So when Brianna woke us up at 6:30 Sunday morning (her usual wake-up time), Bryan was understandably exhausted. Now, when you mess with my family, you risk invoking my ire. If I happen to be PMSing, you are taking your life in your hands. (Remember my post about PMDD—the super PMS that I suffer from and take anti-psychotic medication for?)
So I was irritated. One of the things I like to do when irritated is listen to angry music. It was a lovely morning, so I set up my Bose Wave outside on the deck, which just happens to face our new neighbors’ home. I got my coffee and plugged in my iPod. I dialled up my angry music, in this case Public Image Limited’s “Flowers of Romance“.
It’s a lovely little post-punk album. CD Universe says this about it:
Public Image Ltd.: John Lydon, Keith Levene, Martin Atkins. The fourth Public Image Limited album is something of a milestone. Spread across its 33 minutes is some of the harshest and least “user-friendly” music ever recorded for a major record company. FLOWERS, the first album following the departure of the band’s initial bass player, finds John Lydon largely abandoning guitars in the construction of his songs. The music is mainly comprised of jerking, off-kilter drumming, layered with creepy keyboard effects. Echoing, buried backing vocals add menace to his uniformly disturbing lyrics. The tone of “Spread her body all naked and silly, a bulbous heap batting her eyelids” (“Track 8”) and “What do you want, you’re annoying go away, it’s not my fault that you’re lonely” (“Banging the Door”) is not atypical. In “Under the House,” a tale of a ghostly haunting in a dream-house, the almost lethargic vocals are undercut with frenzied drumming, distant growls, and creaking sounds. “Go Back,” one of Lydon’s classic anti-middle-class-complacency rants, features a tinny, squalling guitar–almost as an afterthought to the rigid drums. “Francis Massacre” ends the record abruptly with a mixture of seemingly unrelated drums, samples, and vocals. FLOWERS is a classic album of awkward and disturbing anti-“pop” music.
Let me tell you, there’s nothing like cranking up the Bose Acoustic Wave at 7 a.m. to kick out the tunes. The bass response is _amazing_.
My passive-agressive action worked. Before the album was over, one of our new neighbors came over to ask me to turn it down. The conversation went something like this:
Her: Hi! Do you mind turning that down?
Me: I thought you guys liked being loud, you were pretty loud at 2 a.m.
Her: We’re all trying to sleep.
Me: So were we when you woke us up at 2 a.m.
Me: How about this—you stop being loud late at night and I’ll stop being loud first thing in the morning.
Me: Right on.
We then high-fived each other, she left, and I brought my Bose inside. Hopefully, she and her housemates will get the point. If not, I think some Ornette Coleman or Nine Inch Nails might appear on my early morning playlist.