The New Guys
What a treat it is to have noisy neighbors. It’s 2 in the morning. Brand new tenants moved into one of the empty apartments in this plot. The one next to the gate that nobody ever wants. It has been empty for a while so I was happy that the landlord got someone to rent it. More money for him, yay!
My joy quickly turned to sorrow. See, the new guys moved in on Thursday. Nothing much happens on Thursdays (except 30 years ago, on a Thursday, ya boy was born!) so we didn’t really have an issue with them. We didn’t even have time to judge them as any good neighbor would.
“We have new neighbors,” I told Eve that Thursday evening.
“Oh really?” She said. “I didn’t even notice.”
“They have a black light in their living room,” I said.
“Eeew,” she said. “We’re having pilau for supper.”
Anyway, they’re young college people. I don’t know how many of them moved in since this type of demographic moves into places in packs. Flocks, even. We have a number of college people residing here so that’s not a big deal. We’ve never had a problem with them.
Until the new guys woke me up at 2 am. They’re drunk and rowdy and playing Tanzanian songs really loud. Tanzanian songs, guys- the worst songs if you’re trying to get some sleep. Or if you’re awake. Or if you have the ability to hear. You may have guessed that I don’t like Bongo music. Imagine being kept awake by someone called Mbosso! Si hata wewe utajam?
The new guys don’t share my enthusiasm for Bongo music though. They’re playing it on a continuous loop – I could probably rehash those lyrics if I wanted but that would be torture so I won’t. I thank God that Eve is asleep because this is one of those nights I want to be miserable alone. Well, I don’t want to be miserable but because I already am miserable I don’t want her to be. I don’t want us to put our powers together and be super miserable. Because we can if we must.
The noise continues.
It is now 3:30 am. I get out of bed so I can wallow in my misery on the couch. The cats are ecstatic someone is awake -they’re so happy and precious. Instagram is uninteresting and the TV is even more uninteresting. I switch it off and stare at the blank screen and I kind of enjoy it. Staring into the eternal abyss. Mbosso is in the air outside.
At 4 am, a different neighbor – a girl – comes in from I don’t know where. Isn’t there a curfew still? She’s with a man or boy and they’re having a discussion. A heated one.
“You know, you’re pretending like this is fun,” the man-boy says. “You think this is cute.”
“What do you even mean?” the girl asks.
“You think this is a game,” man-boy says. “You think it’s cute.”
Things are getting interesting out here. The couple (I assume they’re a couple) are standing right outside my window. I resist the urge to pull back my curtains and gawk. Had my lights been off I would have. The girl says something unintelligible and the man groans. But before anything juicy happens, ghafla bin vuu, they head up the stairs. As they struggle to open their door (I can hear everything), the girl suddenly says, “You’re making me feel like a prisoner in my own house!” Then they’re gone.
I sip my tea. Aah, young love.
The new guys’ Blu-toos D-Weiss disconnects and reconnects several times. They shout at each other as their loop of bad music restarts. Soon their voices trail off as I imagine they drop like flies. One by one until only one person remains. Awake. Thinking about the emptiness of his life while watching football highlights. Wondering whether to finish that bottle of cheap liquor or leave it. He sits there. Alone. By himself. The sadness engulfing him like a … like a… Listen, I’ve been awake for 3 hours now and barely functioning, I can’t think of an original simile right now.
Anyway, I reported them to the landlord. Hatuwezi ishi hivi.