How much does it cost to give us peace and quiet? Do we act the fool when you’re working? No. Do we scream and holler at the television at 2:00 A.M.? No. So what is the problem? We’ve asked on several occasions. But you don’t seem to get it. Other people have a life to live as well. I get it. You need to kick back and enjoy your downtime. I enjoy mine while you’re painting. Why can’t you enjoy your downtime while I’m writing without utterly disturbing me and the whole building?
Use headphones you say. You simply want to watch television and have friends over. At three in the morning, you’re watching the rerun of an earlier football game. You’ve invited ten or more friends and you’re all hooping, hollering and running around as if it ‘s early afternoon. It’s not as if you don’t know the scores to these games that have already been played.
I’m not against watching reruns in any capacity. But you have no respect whatsoever for us. You want to not be disturbed per the sign on your door. Yet you think nothing of the same peace and quiet for the rest of us. When we have a few friends over and this is at a respectable time of day on the weekend, you have the audacity to attempt to regulate while we’re having a conversation, cheer, or call out a ref’ in a game you’ll watch hours later. And the cheering, the yelling? Only a handful of times would they hear us across town. That’s what weekend afternoons are for.
A writer needs just as much focus as a painter, as we’ve discussed so many times. And being able to blend sounds around us into our creative process is one thing, but when you and you’re friends are drowning out fire trucks and police cars arriving at the lofts because you’re disturbing the whole building then it’s time to realize you’ve got a problem. Oh, you admit the problem...for a minute. But then you revert. Disrespecting everyone else’s time for creativity. You act as if you own the building. Worst, as if you’re the only one living here. On the 4th of July we barbecue, play music, shoot fireworks, watch movies until sunrise and we neither see you nor hear from you. We know you called the police. But as soon as the holiday is over you’re back to howling at the moon. You disturb the rest of us writers, painters, sculptors, singers, actors and musicians. Your music is excessively loud, what’s the point of wearing headphones.
You will get us all kicked out of the lofts. We can’t create and practice when we need to. We don’t get any sleep. Your music is loud to the point it shakes the walls. You scream at the top of your lungs on your balcony all through the early morning hours. Blue lights, red lights, white lights from police cars, EMTs and fire engines spin and flood our space through the night. You leave soup on the stove and burn bread in the oven. We’re evacuated then and have to stand in the cold. What we’re you thinking? What is it with the sabotage of our careers? Ours, meaning, yours as well.
You will end up serving a long jail sentence when all these charges are brought to bear. Where will the peace and quiet be there? Solitary? Maybe. How much leeway will you be blessed?
We will then have peace and quiet to write. Peace and quiet to paint. Peace and quiet to sculpt. Peace and quiet but at what expense? Not that we wish the worst for you. But if you keep going the way you are what will become of us? Jobless, homeless or torched in a towering inferno. Maybe not towering, but definitely torched. A crispy husk unable to be identified but for our teeth. And if I survive will I able to write about my experience. Will my neighbors be able to paint what our loft building looks like after a four-alarm fire. Physical therapy, mental therapy will we bounce back soon enough before our home is reduced to rubble. Before we can tell the tale.
Your self-destruction will be our destruction. We have to look out for our best interest. And in the process, we look out for your best interest. You’re spiraling out of control. You don’t paint anymore. You barely sketch. And storyboard is out of the question. With all that you’re going through you can’t organize your thoughts. And all we can think about, write about, paint about, sculpt about, worry about is what’s next. What’s going to happen to you? What would happen to us? I think you know? But you’re in such dire straits you can’t care anymore. At least not the way you should.
The pills were supposed to stabilize you. But when you run through the hundred pills in less than a week we have to deal with the fallout. You think to fool us with those glasses of orange juice. We smell the alcohol. It fills the elevator, the lobby, and when we see you on the stairs. Mind your business. You scream in the hallway and from your balcony. But only nobody is violating your privacy at two in the morning. But you’re definitely violating ours. We had a good thing going. It’s not like you’re a subway that runs by our window that’s best ignored, best tuned out because it comes with the territory. I wonder while I’m writing in these early morning hours what will be your next course of action. Will you take our advice and seek the help that purges addiction? Will your voice go quiet due to accidental overdose? Or from the balcony will you dive?
We’re aware of the world around us and what’s going on inside. And so we write, we sketch, we sculpt, we paint. Overall we’re doing fine. But the longer this goes on I’m inclined to believe as your sister says like that balcony rail on which you stand you’re teetering on the edge of the nervous breakdown you claim you’ve had. And if we’re not careful you’ll take us with you.