17 may 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

i have two neighbors, one guy across the hall and another one at the bottom of the stairs. i can never remember their names, and i even have difficulty recognizing their faces. but i know their voices. one is always yelling at his girlfriend. the other is always having sex.

The Man Who Always Has Sex lives directly downstairs. the mailboxes are against his patio wall, and his windows line the walkway to our apartment. when our living room windows are open, sound travels right up along the wall and straight into our dining room. can you imagine taking a bite of your ben & jerry's chunky monkey ice cream and hearing a groan at the same exact moment? it's very disconcerting.

The Man Who is Mean to His Girlfriend lives next door. he smokes and never takes his sparkletts water bottle inside. the simultaneous smell of dirty smoke and sight of that giant plastic cylinder as i ascend the stairs always makes me cranky. when i am in my bedroom at night, i hear doors opening and shutting and their muffled voices, which usually crescendoes into doors slamming and screaming voices.

you are never safe.

you may be coming home from the grocery store at 4 in the afternoon. you may pass by their window with blinds wide open. your window may be shut, your tv may be on, you may be singing along with liz phair at the top of your lungs. it doesn't matter. you will still hear them.

and the mental images only make it worse. i met The Man Who Always Has Sex and his girlfriend at the neighborhood church, of all places. my landlord introduced me to them when i first moved in. the first time i heard them Doing It, appropriately enough, was the following sunday afternoon on my way to mass. The Man Who Is Mean to His Girlfriend has two children, i am guessing from a former marriage, who are so cute and always over at his place. once, when i was coming home, his door was open, and his girlfriend was standing there, and she said hello. "are you filipino?" she said. "yeah," i answered. "i thought you were," she said, sweetly. "so am i." and then she shut the door behind her.

last night, they were at it again.

i collapsed into bed after an exhausting day. i'd just gotten home from the café and my mind was filled with words, alphabet soup in my mind, sentences begging to be strung, but i couldn't. it was barely midnight, and all i wanted was sleep. i didn't even check my e-mail. i was that tired.

and then i heard it. a moan. his. and then a giggle. hers. and then another moan, and then another giggle, and then...well, you know. and i was lying in bed thinking, no, this is not happening. it's tuesday night. don't they have to work tomorrow? god. please. make. it. stop.

and then a door slam. twice. and he was talking, and she was talking, and the voices got quiet for a minute, and then they got loud again. and then they got louder and louder until he was yelling, he was YELLING, and she was crying, she was s-s-s-obbing.

and it was this chorus, this symphony, of crying, and shouting, and moaning, and groaning, and giggling, and screaming, and oh babys, and it's all your faults, coming from all directions. there was something very wrong about this, and i kept thinking, i should not be here. i am not here. i should not be hearing this. i am not hearing this. i am asleep. yes. i am asleep, and look, there are the sheep. one, two, three, over the big fluffy clouds.

sometime between the moment i pulled the comforter over my head and the 359th sheep, i finally fell asleep. needless to say, i was very cranky today.

this evening, when i got home from work, i ran into The Man Who Always Has Sex. "lovely night, isn't it?" he said. "oh. yeah," i muttered, as i lazily dragged my feet up the stairs. i nearly tripped over the sparkletts bottle waiting at the landing and shut the door behind me.

the first thing i did when i got inside was close all the windows. tonight, i swear, i am going to get some sleep.

i am going to see aimee mann and michael penn in concert on friday night. i've heard good things about their show in san francisco, and i can only hope it will be just as good -- or better.

i'm mean when i scowl.

if jack weren't my friend, i wouldn't mention his redesign. but he is. and it's pretty.

"feel my feeling." -- the broken english of a japanese immigrant musician trying to explain how happy he was to perform with the captive audience.

oh! i got my webby photos back. most of them suck. i mean, i know i said that about the sxsw ones, and they ended up turning out pretty well, but these ones really do suck. hopefully ev will let me steal some of the photos he took.