Imagine with me, if you will, the following scenario:
You lay awake in bed, staring blankly as your clock blinks “2:34” at you in blue. Terrified at the prospect of waking up in four short hours for work, you still can’t seem to fall asleep. How can you? The sweet musical stylings of your neighbors’ rousing live piano renditions of popular show tunes are just so. damn. engaging.
Sound like fun? I’ve tried it. It really isn’t. It got old a few songs after “Hit the Road, Jack,” but before “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Somewhere between 1:33 and 3:07 a.m, when I finally marched upstairs to notify them it was time for their curtain call. No encore necessary.
While living away from your parents has its perks, independence comes with its share of hitches as well. Chief among them is the cast of characters you’ll encounter in the real world. Who knew that one day I’d be living directly beneath the 2008 Romanian Olympic gymnastics team, who practice their floor routine dedicatedly in their living room – preferably between the weeknight hours of 2 and 7 a.m.? Or that a lavish musical of Bollywood proportions would be staged just above my queen-sized bed?
What’s that you say? There’s no performance? My neighbors are just really noisy? I refuse to believe it. Surely the running of the bulls has changed venues from Pamplona this year, and is now taking place on the second floor of my Boston apartment building?
Sometimes it’s not the neighbors you have to worry about though, it’s the cohabitants – and I don’t mean the obvious ones. This fall I had the pleasure of sharing an apartment with my dear friend Karishma… and our very own ghost.
The ghost, whom I named Abdurrahman, was deemed responsible for the numerous odd happenings in our luxury dwelling. Lights mysteriously went on and off. Pipes made peculiar noises in staccato rhythms, as though trying to convey messages to us. Cryptic codes were typed into open IM windows in our absence. Objects were moved several feet away from their original locations. Doorbells rang incessantly, even as we stood on the doorstep, waiting to catch the culprit. Brand new sneakers vanished without a trace, leaving their wearer to head home with two plastic bags on his feet.
First I wake up at 2 a.m. thanks to what I’m convinced is a dying moose groaning from our pipes, and then I can’t fall back asleep because “Can’t Touch This” is blaring from the apartment above and I can’t stop singing along – is it any wonder that I’m trying to move out?
And now that I think about it, is it any wonder I’m having so much trouble finding a subletter?