To The Neighbor Who Sleeps Through Her Alarm Clock

Now hear this.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I don’t mind the guests. The sounds of suitcase wheels flowing down hallways with such regularity I almost suspect an illegal hostel. I’ve accepted the smoking, the wafts of gag-inducing billows that dance their way into my apartment not yours because you smoke out the window just below mine at 7am and 1:30 am with the regularity of a high fiber meal. We won’t discuss your Sunday morning rehash conversations with your girlfriends. I was young once.

What we will discuss, beast, is your alarm clock. You might not know this, but you have one. You have a blaring, sound wave-bending alarm clock that sounds like a rabid goat’s bleat as it’s being attacked with a pointy stick. It’s not just that you have this alarm, but instead that you aren’t using it for its one and only purpose: It does not wake you up.

From approximately 7 to 7:30am each morning, as I sit at my desk, being productive, creative, and unencumbered by any previous evening’s imbibements, you and your black lungs snooze away, content, peaceful, unaware or simply unaffected by our current state of tenement living.

We live in an apartment building constructed in the 70s where all of our bedroom windows face an airshaft you could barely park a Prius in. These are close goddamned quarters and there are other people living within earshot of your terrible habits. Have you no sense of community?

I’m sorry I just have to pause here for a second because your alarm just started going off again and I think I might murder a puppy.

See what I don’t get is…how the fuck are you not waking up? Your head is positioned within inches of a device that could be warning you of an impending tornado for the volume and urgency it achieves, how do you maintain a state of unconsciousness?! I’ve been known to hit a snooze button every now and again but this isn’t a gradual drifting back to the conscious plane, this is a warning signal you can’t possibly tell me is pleasant to catch a few last Zs to.

This isn’t happening on occasion, this isn’t a random one-off where you swilled a little too much from the NyQuil bottle last night. This is every day, Monday-Friday, forever. Do you know how difficult it is for me to even type this? My efforts to channel my rage into text rather than run downstairs and give you what for are taking quite a bit of control on my part, I’ll have you know. Not that you’d answer the door, if this panic-mode ringtone you’ve chosen as your alarm ain’t workin, it’s unlikely my banshee-like screams and aggressive knocking would do the trick.

Half an hour. Half a goddamned hour every morning, a sound that repeats so long and so regularly that I hear it even after it stops. And don’t worry, once you do peel your carcass from the pile of wet magazines you sleep upon, that’s when I’m immediately treated to your second hand smoke. Animal.

It’s your life, right? You pay rent just like the rest of us, you can live and demolish your health as you please. I do not purport to have any authority to tell you what to do, as I myself prefer to have my habits uncontrolled. I’m certain my vacuum cleaner, which in this building I alone apparently own, must annoy you so. No, I’ll not ask decency of you. Not only am I not commanding you to wake up, I’m quite sincerely insisting that you never do.


Apartment 4C

Written by

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store