The following to-do list is not only how I imagine my extremely loud neighbor would spend his evenings, it is also a love story about me, him, and exactly how much I loved to hate him for the three years we lived next door to each other.
I loved to hate him in the mornings, I loved to hate him in the evenings, I even loved hating him when I was at work, at parties, and on dates, by bringing him up repeatedly. I couldn’t eat–I definitely couldn’t sleep–and one day, I was doing what I imagine everyone does when they can’t sleep (texting their mother photoshopped images of what they might look like with bangs) when I stumbled across his name via AirDrop.
In that pivotal moment, the moment in which I could’ve fallen deep into the delicious K-hole of Googling every detail about the man, I examined the concept of love versus unhealthy obsession. I love my mother. I am unhealthily obsessed with the notion that bangs will heal my soul and transform my life. It was never clearer that my living situation, like my brain, had come undone.
And then I accidentally AirDropped him the photo. I moved immediately.
I still think of him from time to time—mostly whenever I hear Steely Dan playing at full volume—and in an effort to exorcise him from my mind entirely, I’ve put together what I’m 99% positive was his nightly to-do list at the time. Please enjoy. (I never did.)
MY NEIGHBOR’S EVENING TO-DO LIST
⁃ Slam my cabinet doors open and shut for an hour
⁃ Host a hammering party
⁃ Get really into the Eagles at 3 a.m.
⁃ Burn a French bread pizza so thoroughly that everyone in the building can taste the smell
⁃ Drop marbles (???) on my floor
⁃ Argue with my Alexa (or a very flat-voiced woman named Alexa who seems disinterested)
⁃ Tap-dancing break
⁃ Figure out when my neighbor has finally drifted off to sleep so I can wake her up by having extremely loud, weird sex
– Catch up on some cool woodworking projects with power tools
⁃ Examine the oeuvre of filmmaker Michael Bay and his various explosions
⁃ Study marching-band videos
⁃ Be inspired
⁃ Pick up drums
⁃ Realize drums are hard
⁃ Do the cymbals instead
⁃ Wonder why my neighbor is crying
– Decide she’s actually just laughing with pleasure at my progress
– Sleep peacefully for four minutes