Dear New Neighbour Downstairs,
Hullo! My name’s Sadie. Your new neighbour upstairs. Not the one with a beard that puts the rubbish out – that’s Matt. I’m the one that got stuck by her scarf to the gate the other day. I don’t know if you were watching. I hope you weren’t; I could have been choking to death for all you know and you didn’t do anything. Anyway. No matter. I’m alive, for now. (But – N.b. – if you see me struggling at the fence again, chances are something ridiculous is happening and you should come out and help.)
I’m sorry I haven’t introduced myself yet, but I’ve been busy with work and unpacking and loosening my woollens from gate posts so I don’t strangulate and whatnot, so I’ve not really had time to remember to be polite enough to pop down.
The times I do remember I should maybe have popped down in an act of basic etiquette are usually when I can feel the bass of your ostentatiously effective surround sound reverberating up my shins. That’s when I think “Ooh. I must pop down and introduce myself to him, so I know WHAT TYPE OF FACE TO CRAFT WITH MY VOODOO CRAFT SET.” (A little joke – I reserve my spells for neighbours who pass wind audibly then laugh about it, which is about the worst thing any human can do, bar waste food and genocide.)
Fake joking aside, you may have noticed the vague aura of my dissatisfaction radiating through the floor? That time-old English means of communicating? Stewing at home in stoic silence?
For instance, you may have perceived me dropping a shoe very loudly the other day – that was a clear hint I needed you to turn it down. You responded intuitively by playing a computer game that sounded like lions mating in space. After that you may have noticed ME RAISING MY VOICE ON THE PHONE A COUPLE OF LEVELS ABOVE MY USUAL VOLUME, INTIMATING THAT I COULD NOT HEAR MYSELF THINK. Then, when you started watching an action film that made my wibbly bits judder, I huffily took myself from the room muttering something very grumpy about amplification just being another way in which men try to appease themselves over their own shortcomings as men, or something. That must have cut you to the quick, had you been able to hear it. I do apologise.
Hey. I know it’s not easy being neighbours; we’ve all got our little foibles. I don’t expect you to alter your life as such, just…turn it down so I don’t have to hear you living it. I’m sure you’d get a fair amount if you were to put your sound equipment up on Ebay. Here’s a possible sales pitch – ‘Speakers so good my new neighbour hates me already.’ They’ll bite your hand off. (And if they don’t, I will.)
I hope you don’t mind me writing by way of a newspaper column. I know it’s not the most conventional way of saying “hullo you noisy tinker, now sshh”. But for now it saves me coming down and actually speaking my mind out of my mouth-hole, which I’m not always great at. You’ll see for yourself in time, when you watch me trying to shoo away Mormons or something. (I will need your help then too. Seriously. Last time I got stuck at the kitchen table between two American brethren and they didn’t even bring corn bread. I thought they had to bring corn bread.)
Anyhoo. Peace. (Seriously. Please?)
Your slightly huffy but ultimately quite friendly neighbour,
Aged 33, 5 months, and 5 days.