Friday, May 13, 2005

Screaming at the Neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

I would like to let you know a little bit about me and my experience being your neighbor.

Friday night was a warm night. One of the first in a while where we throw the windows open and hope to catch a nice breeze. My family settled in to watch some TV after a long, hectic week.

A moving story came on featuring a book by photographer Nina Berman, "Purple Hearts; Back from Iraq," about wounded vets who have returned from this war. The images from her book are heartbreakingly intimate and, since it was television, audio recordings of the lonely, isolated vets speaking about their experiences accompanied the unflinching and vivid photos.

Halfway through the piece, though, you came out of your house and started up your Harley. The sound -- whether we have the windows open or closed -- is not unlike having a chainsaw dropped into our bedroom.

Then you proceeded to have a conversation. With whom, I don't know since I didn't go to the window to look. But I could hear you yelling quite loudly. That was probably so you could be heard over the sound of the motorcycle. I couldn't hear who you were talking to, though. Maybe you were on the phone?

Before you moved into the neighborhood, if I heard someone yelling as loudly as you do, with or without your bike idling, I would go to the window and make sure that no one was in trouble. However, we gave up watching out for neighbors soon after you moved in when we learned that you just like to yell all the time. You're not mad or anything, you are just loud and apparently must like for everyone in the world to know your business.

So after about ten minutes of idling Harley and yelling, you finally left. And when you did, your "pipes" set off at least one car alarm in their wake!

Here's the thing: If you feel like you are getting negative vibes from your neighbors it's not your imagination. You really do impact us. It's one thing to have a loud party every once in a while or just enjoy life with gusto, but you seem very careless about other folks' space and time. Every time you insert yourself into the middle of our lives univited we resent you. And, lamentably, the result is we that even though we don't know you, we don't like you very much.

We wish it weren't so.

Can you find a solution to this dilemma? It, and you, would be so welcomed.


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