So my downstairs neighbor has a problem. Well, he has a few problems if you’re asking me. You’re not, but here I am and I’m gonna tell you about them.

First off, he loves to play video games. Obsessed really. Now, I have been known to binge out on a video game or two in the past (in the distant, non-wireless, hey-Amanda’s-really-old! past of Super NES) but this guy might need a twelve-step program or something.

Of course, he prefers games that use only the most repetitive, bass-thumping songs. And he could probably rent his sound system out to underground warehouse parties when he’s not gaming. Which is never. But that’s okay because the walls in my building are constructed from tissue paper, moth wings and blown kisses. All I really hear is, “Thump, thump, thump, thump, THUMP, thump, thump, thump, THUMP, brrrraaapp, MASSIVE TERRIFYING EXPLOSION SOUND, thump, thump…” Again, it’s fine because he’ll take breaks with his friend the hyena to laugh hysterically and smoke outside my window.

He is also obsessed with Axe Body Spray. I do not believe he limits his use of this product to just his corporeal self. No, I’m pretty sure he thinks that it is interchangeable with Febreze and can be used as a room spray, linen freshener, video game console dust off…pretty much anything.

The other day I happened to pass the air vent in my hallway and was blasted with the scent of this young valley dude who’s apparently trying to pick up any chick within a fifty mile radius. I wonder which specific line of Axe products he uses. Maybe “Hawk Thunder” or “Fierce Gains” or “Dark Rebellion” or “Hipster Satan” or “Girls Hate Me” or “Amanda’s Gonna Still Smell This Five Months After I Move Out, Yay”.

Not that I’m bitter.

I’m sure, however, he loves having me as an upstairs neighbor. What, with my half-deaf cat meowling throughout the day. My little guy’s vocalizations sound like I invented a cruel game of “Sit on the Kitty, Over and Over” (also the title of my ex’s new girlfriend’s experimental folk/punk Burning Man show) (no, I’m lying) (albeit creatively). Yesterday, during a phone conversation with a new friend, I was asked if I had a hungry baby in the house.

But aside from that, I am fairly quiet. When I wear high heels (almost never) I tip toe while wearing them (almost impossible) so as not to make stomping or clomping sounds. My across-the-hall neighbor who bartends Thursday through Saturday nights feels no need to practice such restraint. She also has a fondness for slamming doors.

I’m starting to think I have an over-sensitivity to sound and noise. I seem to almost always take it personally. Just now, as I’m writing this, my down-the-hall neighbors started playing music kinda loudly. I felt a physical rush of rage well up out of my chest and when I opened the door, I was able to place the song as “Hello, Goodbye.” Dude, that’s one of my most favorite Beatles’ songs, why am I so angry?

Okay, now my neighbors have stopped playing classic rock and are thoughtfully replacing it with mariachi, banda and norteño music. They are trying to broaden my cultural horizons. I am unappreciative.

And my next door neighbor just came home. She has a gigantic hound dog who will vocally notify the building of her return.

Sigh. Very soft and quiet sigh.