18. The pounding was driving Edward crazy. A new neighbor had just moved into the apartment below him. The newcomer was deaf, or seemed to be, because he played his stereo loud enough for the whole building to hear.
Edward went downstairs and politely told the newcomer that his stereo was too loud. He asked the new tenant to turn the volume down and keep it down as long as he lived in the building. The tenant appeared surprised and embarrassed, and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize it was that loud."
Edward returned upstairs, feeling good, because he had taken a stand and politely let the newcomer know that loud music was not going to be tolerated. The next day all was quiet, and Edward continued to be pleased with himself. The following day, Edward thought it must be the Fourth of July, because it sounded like a marching band was playing on his street. Of course, it wasn't the Fourth of July, and it wasn't a marching band. It was the new neighbor, who was playing his music loud again.
Edward was not one to repeat himself, feeling that each time he did, he merely diminished the value of his words. So, he did what he always did with offensive neighbors—namely, grin and bear it. Eventually, they would move away. Or he would.
In Los Angeles that summer, a woman had complained to her upstairs neighbor that he was playing his drums too loud and too often. The drummer repeatedly ignored her. He told her to stop whining. One day the woman walked upstairs and shot the drummer in the head. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The drummer won't bother anyone anymore with his drums, but the woman probably wishes that she hadn't used her gun. There aren't many things worse than living in prison. Instead of using a gun, she could have moved to another apartment, or even to another building. For the next 20 years, the only place she'll be moving is to the bottom bunk or the top bunk. 6.1, 349
18. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved. www.eslyes.com