I sit here, looking at the fucking ceiling of my apartment. I can’t actually see it vibrating, but if it did I wouldn’t be surprised. The bass coming from the apartment above me is so fucking loud it’s almost obscene. The thumping has kept me awake for the last three nights. Every fucking night until one or two in the morning. I swear the person living above me must be deaf. How the fuck does anyone listen to music that loud and understand a fucking single word said?
It’s no fucking use. I have three more hours of this shit until the fuck head goes to sleep.
Getting up from my bed, I walk over to the sliding glass door and pull hard on the handle. The thing resists my pull for a moment before screeching open. This damn place is a dump. Everything is either falling apart or has been jury-rigged so many times that it’s barely functioning.
I have been moving around for the last six months, a few hotels but mostly extended stays. A job here or a job there, and I move on. This apartment, though… Fuck. I want to see if I can live a normal life now. The fucker upstairs isn’t making it easy.
Grabbing my smokes from the table by the door, I light one up. I’m in my boxers but fuck it. The shit I have seen in the last three days here; I doubt anyone will give two shits about a stupid white guy standing out on his balcony.
The building I’m in is the best one of the lot, though, in terms of view and location. It’s the one on top of the hill the apartment community was built on, and from my balcony I can see a lot of forest between me and the city. Cincinnati sure is a lot different than Cleveland and Detroit. The people are different down here, and so is the climate. Fuck. It’s sweltering here, the A/C in my room is barely enough to take off the heat from the day.
I lean against the railing for a long moment, staring out through the darkness, and see all the glittering lights from downtown. It’s not an ugly town, but it isn’t where I want to call home anytime soon. I will probably be out of here in a few months. I just don’t have anything calling me here. No ties, no longing.
I hear a loud scraping sound from the apartment next to me and see the sliding glass door open. A black guy steps out of the door and nods his head at me. He is in his boxers too as he grunts to me. “Got an extra one of those?”
“Sure.” I say and shake the soft package of smokes. One pops out and I lean between the balconies, holding it out for him.
Handing it to him, I say, “Seamus.”
“Good to meet ya.”
Nodding his head, he says, “That guy above you moved in a two weeks ago. Fucking every god damn night.”
“I was wondering what his neighbors thought of him.”
“He’s an asshole. I asked him to keep that shit down after a week of him blasting it. Told him I have to be up early for work, asked if he could turn it down by eleven or twelve. Fucker didn’t even bother to do it that night.”
Taking the lighter back from Trevon, I ask, “You think the landlord will do anything?”
He shrugs. “No clue. I put in a call to the main office but all they have done is say they will take care of it.”
Trevon takes a long moment and stares at my arms and chest—sizing up the tattoos that cover me, I’m willing to bet. I’ve done the exact same thing to him already. I don’t see any gang shit or anything that would cause me concern. He must come to the same conclusion about me.
Nodding to me, he asks, “You Irish?”
Looking down to the large green, white and orange flag on my chest, with Éirinn go Brách, on a banner above it. “Yeah, my dad was straight off the boat from the good ol’ green fields.”
“You ever go there?”
“Yeah, every couple of years.”
I look at his shoulder tattoo and see the broad letters of the Marines. “You ever get over there in the Marines?”
“Nah. They kept us in the desert, mostly. Hit Germany a couple of times, that was cool as fuck.”
Nodding my head. “Yeah, I did some traveling over there. Germany has really good beer.”
He chuckles. “Yeah, that and attractive women.”
The music above us isn’t so loud at this moment, and I am hoping the guy is finally going to turn the shit down. When I am about to say something to Trevon, the sound all of a sudden cranks right back up with some new track of abuse to my ears.
Shaking my head, I decide I will try to say something to the front office tomorrow. This shit cannot continue. Hopefully they get this guy to stop. It’s that, or I put a bullet through the guy’s stereo system.
I light up another smoke and offer the pack over to Trevon.
Shaking his head, he says, “Nah. I am gonna try to sleep again.”
He heads in, and I think about him asking about Ireland. It’s been three years since I last went, and right now I’d head there in a heartbeat if I wasn’t still leery as to my status with the IRA. I pretty much quit working for them as my main employers when my last boss took things a step too far and got himself killed.
* * *
Fuck, I hate waking up groggy like this. Last night the asshole above me kept the music blaring till three-thirty in the morning. I don’t know how the other people in the building deal with it, but groggy or not I am seething mad.
I dial the front office number and instantly get put on hold. Fuck.
The music I listen to as I wait is certainly not helping my mood one fucking bit. Some classical bullshit.
“The Towers by the Lake. This is Andrea, how can I help you today?”
The Lake? I think to myself. It’s a fucking pond. A puddle would be more accurate.
“Yeah, this is Seamus Hannagan from 308. I have a complaint I need to speak with you about.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir. What can I help you with?”
“The guy above me is blaring his music until two in the morning. He doesn’t stop.”
“I’m so sorry, sir, for you having to deal with that. I will make sure we get this taken care of as soon as possible.”
With that the line goes dead. The fucking woman hung up on me.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I ask into the disconnected line.
Rolling over, I look at the clock and see its eight-thirty. Fuck me. I swear I am going to put a bullet in that man’s radio, and maybe his fucking head.