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2004-06-29 - 12:27 p.m.

When I was in high school, pulling off three all nighters consecutively was a badge of honor. I would regale my friends with tales of extreme productivity: three papers written, science labs completed, books read, and plays finished, all without any coffee or cigarettes involved; a Kit-Kat, a coke, and the Offspring were the only ingredients required for an eight hour twilight marathon. My ability to not sleep for three days and still remain, relatively awake in class was legendary.

It has been less than ten years, and I am this far from taking the whippersnappers next door over my knee, if they keep playing their damn 80’s music after two o’clock in the morning, on a fucking Monday night.

I swear they must have pinned the subwoofer right to my wall, so come twelve thirty, I was suddenly serenaded with the base line of Huey Lewis and the News’, “Power of Love.” I have nothing but respect for Michael J. Fox’s oeuvre, in fact, at times of great shock and horror both “This is Heavy” and “Great Scott” have wandered from my lips. Still, a late night reminder, in bass was utterly unnecessary.

I figured I’d wait them out. Monday nights are constructed for the sole purpose of lamenting the fact that the next four days will be spent in your cubicle, sales floor, ugly ass uniform, whatever. Monday nights are for watching bad reality TV, slamming a few beers and nacho chips, and possibly a shared exhaustion/weekend update phone call to a friend. Monday nights are not for spinning the LP for “Right Round” round and round and round.

My bowels cleared, a book finished, and an episode of “Firefly” later, I stared at the clock, blinking out 2:05 while listening to Rappers Delight through my wall. I tried to maintain my anger, imagining I suddenly had telekinetic powers and could will the speaker system in the next room to begin floating around, and rhythmically bashing its owner in the manner of a musical Looney Tunes cartoon.

Two thirty was the breaking point. This was not something I wanted. I changed from my pajamas (Read: boxers and a t-shirt) into formal attire I thought might be intimidating (read: pants and a t-shirt) and wandered into the hall.

Dude answered the door. I have dubbed him ‘Dude’ as he opened every sentence with this word. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the word ‘dude’, and use it frequently. As in: Where’d the dude go?, What’s up dude?, or Dude! That tastes like shit! Still one must keep a modicum of dude usage, if only to avoid the conclusion that one is from L.A.

Dude hid himself behind the door, peaking only his head out. He giggled a little between sentences and the fingers of his free hand seemed locked in an OK position, like he was desperately trying to hold onto a very important grape nut. Apparently, Dude had been cleaning the apartment and needed a little music to help inspire him. (This means distract him. I’ve used the same trick.)

I tried to play it off, saying maybe the subwoofer was too close to the wall, and repeating “it’s cool” more times than I probably should have. He smiled and disappeared back into apartment twenty-nine, while I slunk back into apartment thirty.

A dull ache settled into my head. Three years ago, my roommates and I knew the cop who patrolled in our area by name because he’d been called down for noise complaints on many an occasion. Some times he had good reason, and we dulled it down, but three times, at least he leaned in heard the volume level and laughed it off. My roommate and the cop would discuss Metallica’s newest album, amidst comments on both sides that our neighbors were fucking pricks. Once, just four years ago, a roommate through her shoe up against my wall, because the sex I was having was a little too ruckus for her at one o’clock in the morning. God, I was proud of that.

In five short years, I’ve gone from deterring cops from breaking up our late night rock out festivals, and having obnoxiously loud sex, to being the rat who calls you out, because he just wants some sleep.

I am currently considering getting three new credit cards and buying a bunch of useless shit I’ll spend the rest of my life paying off, so I can maintain some level of juvenile lack of responsibility.

I’m currently considering the purchase of a leather lazy boy with a spot on the arm, designed specifically for salsa.


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