My New Apartment: Sinfonia of the Stompers Upstairs (Plus a Bonus Letter!)

Ah, moving day!  Out of the shoebox-sized nightmare that was my last apartment and into this glorious palace (by comparison, at least). No more showering while simultaneously brushing my teeth – this place even has a separate bathroom!


Except for one minor detail – the tenants of the seventh layer of Dante’s inferno who reside directly above me.


Look, I get it. People gotta walk. Kids gotta, well, be little hurricanes of flailing limbs and joyous energy.  Couples…well, couples gonna couple. Nighttime romps are a fact of life, even if the walls are thin enough to offer a live commentary on your upstairs neighbor’s sandwich order.


But here’s the thing: since the U-Haul pulled away, our nights have been serenaded by the rhythmic pounding of what can only be described as a deranged hippopotamus doing Riverdance.  I swear, the vibrations from their nightly stomp-fest rattle the pictures on the wall, and cause my walk-in closet to perform an unnerving interpretive dance.


Now, I’m a reasonable person (mostly). I exercised patience for a whole two weeks! That’s practically Gandhian levels of restraint for someone who used to share a kitchen with their goldfish.  But last Thursday, the one-legged Olympian over my head decided to re-enact the Battle of Thermopylae in their living room at 1 am.


Enough was enough.


With the grace of a particularly clumsy ballerina, I banged on the ceiling for a good 30 seconds, hoping to convey the message: “Уважаемый сосед, пожалуйста, прекратите ваш звуковой террор!” (That’s Russian for “Yo, I’m trying to sleep down here!”)


Silence. Glorious, blessed silence.


Victory lap commenced! High fives were exchanged (metaphorically, because ceilings).  My ever-optimistic fiancé, bless her heart,  predicted our upstairs neighbors would ninja their way to the landlord’s office to complain about my aggressive ceiling drumming.


Of course, when I called the landlord to register a formal complaint (because apparently, rhythmic banging is frowned upon), they inquired about my percussive midnight serenade.  Look, I may not be a concert pianist, but I wasn’t exactly conducting a philharmonic on the ceiling.  Let’s just say my rendition of “We Will Rock You” was purely out of desperation.


The landlord politely requested I ditch the ceiling percussion and stick to phoning them with noise complaints. So here we are. Still under siege by the Stomp Squad upstairs.


And speaking of formal noise complaints, I thought it’d be efficient to include my first official one right here:


Attention: Stompalots Upstairs,


Look, we get it. You’ve got feet.  They’re attached to your legs, and those legs presumably propel you around your apartment. Fantastic. However, the nightly reenactment of a heavy metal concert happening directly over our heads is getting old faster than yesterday’s milk.


The earth-shattering THUD THUD THUD that seems to be your preferred mode of locomotion is not cute. It’s not endearing. It’s frankly impressive, in a “how-much-concrete-do-your-feet-weigh?” kind of way.


We’re all for a little pitter-patter during the day. Kids gonna be kids, couples gonna…well, you get the idea. But when the clock strikes midnight, and your personal dance routine starts to sound like a herd of wildebeests stampeding across the Serengeti, it’s time to dial it back a notch (or ten).


We tried the nice approach. We absorbed the vibrations like champs for two whole weeks. Then, in a moment of sleep-deprived desperation, we may have engaged in some light percussive communication on the ceiling (hey, it worked for Ringo!).


The landlord advised against future ceiling performances, so here we are, resorting to this strongly worded letter. Consider it an official warning.


Tone down the thunderous footwork. Invest in some slippers. Maybe take up interpretive dance – anything quieter than your current routine.


Sincerely (not really),


The Sleep-Deprived Tenants Below

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