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Sometime last weekend, I got an anonymous note in my mailbox from my neighbors (no, not that one) asking me to "be a bit more aware" and turn down the music. The note wasn't dated, and it didn't specify the date of time of the offense.

Rightly or not, I've passed from "regretful" to "annoyed." In, like, a heartbeat. So I feel the need to respond. To both light a candle and curse the darkness.

Dear Faceless, Nameless Cowards,

So sorry I disturbed you, whenever it might have been. I'll certainly try to be more considerate.But you should know, at this stage, it doesn't always come easily under certain circumstances.

See, I'd love to keep the music quieter, but I find a little Spoon or Girls Against Boys helps me ignore the tobacco and weed smoke pouring under my door or (in happier, warmer times) through the window. But I'm sure you don't smoke, do you? That dope-ass Tiefschwarz remix of Kinda New and the first Federation X record are really great for blunting the impact of Clydesdale hooves high heels in the hallways. (I mean, shit...name a song that's in 7/8 that rocks harder than Song About The Sweet Lovin' Woman. You can't. There isn't one.) Do you still wear Docksiders without socks? (Hey, I'm just asking. I'm sure someone still does. I bet they're quiet, too.)

Additionally, I've been known to play music while people in the building are extravagantly sobbing or cackling (not at the same time--I don't think). I don't want to begrudge you your emotional turmoil, but I'm sure I don't have to worry about that, since you're not bi-polar, are you?

That you addressed me by my first name means this must really have been eating at you (enough to do some phonebook sleuthing). That you signed your note "Your Neighbors" means I can't figure out whether you're above me or next door or across the hall. Or whether you have a peg-leg, a deaf roommate (or 8) or a drug problem. Clearly you knew that.

But never the matter. For all that, and despite the fact that music is playing in my apartment 95% of the time I'm in it (which means there're a lot of times you don't hear it) I rather like it here, and I'll try even harder not to pierce whatever it is that insulates you from your surroundings. And anyway, you might be pleased to know that my 20-year-old amp has started taking days off now and then, so till I get that replaced I've got these big ol' canister headphones on. If you can hear the music now, there's something wrong with both of us.

Just don't confuse being "more aware" with "giving a shit."

Christopher T. Welbon
Apt. 25

Comments (2)


How would you have responded if they just knocked on your door and said to turn it down? Is this issue that they chose to remain anonymous (read: cowardly)? Just curious. -- Your neighbor in apt. #35 (just kiddin)

I would feel totally different about it if they'd knocked on the door (assuming I would have been able to hear the knock....) or said who they are. It'd be a whole lot more useful (and less irritating given the other noises in the building) to know what, precisely, is causing them offense.

I'm also taking exception to the cloying use of the phrase "often" (as in "often quite loud"). The word they're actually looking for is "rarely" because it's loud a whole lot less than it's quiet.



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