Friday, June 20, 2014

How to be an Exceptionally Bad Neighbor

             Life in this world can be tough. The struggles of daily living can be very trying and a true test of our sanity. As human beings we should strive to make the world a less aggravating place for each other. Unless you live in an apartment building; then, all the rules are off. Common courtesies are a thing of the past and the Golden Rule is something of a myth.

             Laundry is a painfully dull chore. It’s time consuming and labor intensive, especially if you live in an apartment complex with three washing machines and three dryers. The apartment building probably has well over a hundred people living in it and it’s a struggle to make sure you can find the time slot in which to perform the drudgery of clothes washing. I have it timed fairly well and do what I can to be efficient about it. I hate laundry. I hate lugging it downstairs. I hate the cost. I hate the switch from the washer to the dryer; it seems there’s always that one sock or underwear that drops to the dirty laundry room floor basically eliminating any cleanliness it had. I hate it.

             Since I hate it so much, I have a deep understanding for other people that likely hate it as well, so I really try to be good about it. I get in and I get out. Unless, that is, I’m confronted by those individuals who have no regard for anyone but themselves. I like to refer to them as mega-bitches, or in you’ll forgive the term, God Damn Whores.

             I know we all think our time is very important. We all have things we have to do throughout our day and that can sometimes lead to a failure to think about others. Normal, well rounded people, often think, “If I do this, will it disrupt the lives of others?” If the answer is yes, then we do what we can not to be an inconvenience and attempt a level of civility in our activities. Mega-bitches and God Damn Whores choose not to think this way.  They choose to ignore the common courtesies and pursue a life blind to the needs and/or wants of others. Please allow me to give you an example.

             I had one load of laundry to do today. Shirts, boxer shorts, very basic items to wash. I lugged my little laundry bag down the three flights of stairs, walked through the long driveway that only the building maintenance guy can park in for some reason, turned to the back side of the building, unlocked the laundry room door and stepped in. It’s always 900 degrees in the laundry room and the faster you can get in and out of there the better. It’s like the shittiest sauna in the world. I approach the set of three washers and see that two of the washers are in use, and that’s fine. I’m a little surprised since it was sort of early in the day, but still, there’s one washer available and really, that’s all I need.

            I load the washer as directed and get the old girl going. I even leave my laundry bag on top of the washer as notification that, “Hey, this washer is in use, sorry.” I trudge back up to my apartment and look at the clock. I know that it takes the washer about 28 minutes to cycle through. So I sit down on the couch and wait. Tick, tock, tick, tock, twiddle my thumbs, watch a little World Cup action on TV, eat a small something, start planning for what I’ll do with the rest of my unemployed day.

            Ding! The timer in my head goes off and I look at the clock. Ah! The washer should be done by now. I collect my keys from the dining room table and head out my back door. On my way down the stairs I come across another tenant of the building carrying some wet clothes. I can clearly assume that she’s the person that was using the two other washing machines. I give her a neighborly nod as we pass on the stairs. She goes up, I head toward the laundry room. I unlock the laundry room door and step once more into the dryer sheet smelling sauna. I have a little hint of a smile on my face because I’m happy to finally be doing some laundry.

            For those that know about depression, sometimes even the simplest task can seem like an insurmountable goal and laundry can often fall into that category. So I’m feeling pretty good that I finally found the motivation to do it. I step to the washer and as I knew it would be, it has stopped. I step over to the dryers and that’s when it hits me.
            The woman, that was on the stairs, with the wet clothes, she was only using two washers and yet…she’s using all three dryers! “What the fudge,” I shouted. I also may have cursed God, the woman’s family history, her body shape, her face, and things her mother may have done. I am filled with the rage of a civil individual confronted with an uncivilized world. It’s a mystery to me why a person only using two washers would feel the need to use all three dryers, especially since I had marked the washer I was using by politely leaving my laundry bag on top of it as a flag of sorts, to let anyone else know that, “Hey, I’m using a washer, don’t be a mega-bitch and use all the dryers”.

            This one inconsiderate act, by a “neighbor” set me off. I yelled and screamed and found this to be the most impossible thing ever done. The rudeness of it, the clear and unmitigated inconsideration this person has shown. She’s selfish, cruel and quite possibly worse than a Hitler/Stalin robot. I wanted to find her apartment and yell at her and point out her incredible rudeness but then I’m not sure she actually speaks the same language as I. So I would have looked like a crazy person frantically waving my arms at her and possibly spitting a little.  

             It’s no use. I slam the laundry room door shut behind me as I leave and trudge back up to my apartment, cursing this communal living situation. Now my schedule, the things I wanted to do by a particular time, is completely out of whack. It’s important for the unemployed to have some sort of structure in their lives; otherwise we’d just turn into anamorphic blobs congealed to a couch. I slam my apartment door and go on a pretty marvelous cursing tirade. It’s colorful and completely unrepeatable.

             So now, I wait, for her laundry to be done, so I can finish mine, because I’m polite and an excellent neighbor.

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