It’s 7:50 am and the neighbor is tweaking early. I usually hear stomping and broom cleaning in the wee hours, around 2 a.m. I’m assuming he doesn’t sleep, because he’s up and around doing things at all hours. The mornings are the worst, because the tasks he commits to are quite often loud.
I think he believes whatever task he’s working at is vitally important. So important in fact, that it’s worth the risk of waking neighbors in the house across the alley.
That dust that he attempts to extract from the old porch broom, well, that could cause some kind of disease, couldn’t it?
Well, couldn’t it?
I thought about popping my head out the door and telling him today was the end of the world and he could let it rest from here on out, but I doubt that it would do any good. He’s religious too, so it might make things worse. He’d have to add to those vital tasks to enter the pearly gates of Heaven.
One night when I woke to pounding in the hallway, I opened the door to find him working on his bike. It was 3 a.m. Screwdriver in hand, pliers set nearby, he glanced up, then back to his task, mumbling to himself.
Sometimes the stair stomping begins around 9 p.m. This is a ritual taken up, I assume, for some kind of religious reason.
It begins with running up the wooden stairs in the hallway. We live in a large, early 19th century home that has been converted to apartments, so when someone runs up the stairs, not only can you hear it, you can feel each step in the reverberations.
The Running of the Stairs only last a couple of rounds. The people who live above me, tend to join in this ritual, but take it a step further, stomping directly above my head, sounding as if they will break through the ceiling at any moment.
Once his Running of the Stairs is complete, the girl who lives above me usually takes it up, as if the stairs themselves hold some kind of significance. She goes through it about five or six times. I believe it signifies their ascension to Heaven.
Encouraging her by standing at the bottom of the steps and shouting, strange statements, “I completely understand what that’s about! Well, If I get that thing done over there, maybe… with some help we can do that other thing!”
The words, ‘That, its, it’s and thing’ are used frequently in these encouraging, but cryptic remarks, so I believe there is some kind of significance to these words, akin to thee and thou in the bible.
After the Running of the Stairs, they begin the Slamming of the Door. This is, the front screen door, a heavy metal type fixture that looks as if it has gone through many slammings.
This too, can be heard and felt throughout the building. Each slam an echo and vibration. This can last several hours depending upon their energy levels. The neighbor across from me tends to only last a couple of slammings, while the girl upstairs, along with her boyfriend, will take it up to a full hour at one time, rest and then resume.
Sometimes the slammings begin early, and as the neighbor is performing his Running of the Stairs, the girl above performs the Slamming of the Door. When this happens, both simultaneously, they are also accompanied by furious laughter.
The laughter is a canned, generated type of sound, that is not of joy or mirth, but reminds me more of these laughing monks I once saw on a documentary. They generate laughs to feel better, so I do believe the laughter performed by the girl upstairs is of this type, but with a hint of panic included.
This is quite the cacophony once they get going. I believe they work themselves into such a frienzied state of ecstasy, they could not stop if they wanted to. Like the dancing dervishes, they have transcended their natural state.
I don’t complain, because I don’t discriminate against any religion. People can believe what they want to, as they usually do. However, I do resent the fact that in renting this place the owner told me this was a peaceful place. A great place for a writer who needs to concentrate.
The religious rituals going on here are anything but peaceful or quiet.
As for the tweaking… That’s something I can live without.