Thursday, August 11, 2011


Apartment living is a rite of passage.  It is character building- a test of patience and an opportunity to grow more accepting.  There are random smells that waft into your apartment, leaving you wondering why the place reeks of masala curry when you zapped a fettucine Lean Cuisine for dinner. There are the squeaks and creaks of walls moving as your neighbors hang stuff on the walls, or perhaps are nailing things of a much more carnal nature.  There are the awkward glances in the hallways as you think, "That's the guy who listens to reggae while smoking pot all the time," while he thinks, "That's the drunk girl who sits with her lights off and yells taunts at people crossing the courtyard."  Note: That last example was purely hypothetical.

Anyway, for all of the quirks and annoyances that come with apartment living, there is something charming about it. Consider it- a bunch of near strangers cramped on top, below and side to side in a community, taking on this thing called life.  At least, that is how I always considered apartment living to be, even though I never actually lived in one for any great length of time.  I envisioned myself in a lovely courtyard unit saying hello to my neighbors, hosting potluck dinner parties, chatting by the mailbox and loving the communal existence.

And then Thunderfoot moved in.

For the first month in my new place, I lived in relative quiet bliss.  I occasionally heard my neighbor upstairs stirring about, but nothing that was excessive.  Normally his steps reminded me that I was very happy that I did NOT have a downstairs neighbor, because I am my father's daughter, and anyone who has ever been a floor below him knows he has a step that can crush concrete, and his step is hereditary. No, I actually appreciated my neighbor's quiet ways and was tempted to take him a cake or perhaps some scones to say I appreciate his delicate dancer's steps. But August 1 came.

And then Thunderfoot moved in.

Apartment living is no longer as glamorous as I once thought it to be. Gone are my visions of hosting progressive dinner parties with our units and bringing delightful baked goods to the man upstairs. No, these hopes have no been replaced by vengeful thoughts of me jamming pitchforks through the ceiling and launching molotov cocktails through the window upstairs.

Because Thunderfoot moved in.

The person who currently resides above me walks heavily. And frequently.  His PSI per step far exceeds anything Drago put out per punch in his fancy Communist training camp.  Every time he walks, I half expect to see bolts of lightning shooting out from my ceiling fan lamps.  Sincerely, with every step this man takes I look out the window to look for rain, because it is like a damned thunder storm. However, his heavy steps are something I could probably deal with. After all, we are living in relatively small units, there are not many places to walk.  However, this man must be training for a full marathon in his apartment based off of the number of steps he takes. I can not, for the life of me, figure out how and/or why he is constantly walking!  Every moment I am home anymore is spent ruing the day Thunderfoot ever moved in, wishing I had taken baked goods to the original neighbor so he would have stayed, that he and his angel feet would have stayed. It's not only that he walks constantly with a giant step though, Thunderfoot also plays Office Chair Race EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY I hear the constantly wheeling of an office chair zipping around his living room, making me question just how many computers, exactly, does this man have to monitor? And why?

But no, delicate neighbor could not stay, and now I have Thunderfoot, no doubt a direct descendant of Thor. I have not quite resorted to banging on my ceiling with a broomstick, but I am getting close.  I am trying to give Thunderfoot the benefit of the doubt, he just moved. Perhaps he is moving things around and getting settled.  Perhaps his feet are very rough prosthetics made out of solid lead.  Perhaps for recreation he enjoys stomping around on empty coffee cans with strings in them like I did in 3rd grade gym class. Note: It was rural Ohio.  Levies did not pass, and if they did, there still was not that much money.  Yes, our gym class activity was, in fact, stomping around in a circle for 40 minutes on old coffee cans that had strings that served as rudimentary handles to keep the can on your foot. No, this was not 1955, it was 1991. Welcome to the Heartland.

Digression aside, all I know is that my patience is running thin and Thunderfoot better correct his step soon before I start taking the broomstick to the ceiling.  Because I am damned tired of seeing my water glass shake with every step he takes and having a heart attack expecting to see some Jurassic Park bullshit going on behind my shoulder. Unless you are a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Thunderfoot, soften that step up IMMEDIATELY!

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