My neighbour upstairs likes to sing, but he doesn't sing under his breath or hum along to the radio tune; instead he fills his lungs and just belts out the melody that is moving his soul.
At first I thought the guy was religious, and was practicing some sort of five to seven times daily call to prayer, because through the walls the singing sounds a lot like chanting.
Would it be PC of me to knock on his door and ask him to keep his chats with God quieter? Perhaps, in his head? I know God will still hear him. I'm positive of it.
Some days he even bangs on a tribal drum, so my PC dilemma really heightened: Would it be PC of me to take a pair of scissors and drag them through that taught rawhide instrument, rendering it forever silent? He can just imagine he's drumming on it.
Over the last couple of weeks I've begun to suspect that I'm dealing with less religious devotion and more bohemian rhapsody.
On Friday afternoon my convictions were confirmed.
As I sat on my balcony, ol' Sinatra upstairs went on to his deck and brought out the drum with him. Then in the most soulful and drawn-out display of feeling he proceeded to sing/chant Lincoln Park's "Numb" at the top of his vocal range, while banging on his drum.
THE ABSOLUTE NERVE.
For weeks I've been worrying about stepping on religious toes when really I'm dealing with some arty hipster who can't sing for his supper.
I sat listening to this dude drag out every vowel of every word, and heard him practically cry tears of expressive joy over his own artsy greatness as he verbally tattooed the chorus into our air space:
IIIIII'veeeeee beeecoooomeeee soooo numb IIIII caaaan't feeeeeel yooooou thereeee
IIIIII'veeee beeeeecooooomeeeee soooo tired soooooo much mooooore aaaawaaaaare
IIIIII'veeeee beeeeecoooooming thiiiiiiis aaaaaaall IIIIIII waaaaaaaant toooooo dooooooo
IIIs beeeeee mooooooore liiiiiiiike meeeeeee aaaaaand beeeeee leeeeeeess liiiiiike yooooouuuu
He then went on to sing a little Rod Stewart.
So I have spent weeks struggling with how to politely tell him to STFU, when the whole time he's been high off incense and other herbal remedies and chanting Top 40 hits, while his baby sleeps.
(Oh, there's a baby up there too that also has an impressive set of lungs. But it is a baby, so I will exempt its 4 a.m. screams from this little diatribe...for now.)
So I spent my Friday afternoon plotting out ways I could get him to be quiet (because you know, knocking on the door would be a little too direct). My first thought would be maybe I'll go scissor off one of this dude's dreadlocks. No wait. He'd probably hold a funeral for it, and chant some Britney Spears:
And everytime I try to fly
I fall without my [dreads]
I feel so small
I guess I need you [dreadlocks]
And everytime I see you in my dreams
I see your [hairy] face, you're haunting me
I guess I need you [dreadlocks]
No, such a loss would clearly be too much for his artistic soul to handle.
Luckily for me the Swiss aren't Canadian, so they haven't been bred with that PC poker up their ass and have no qualms with telling anybody what they think, let alone to shout at someone to STFU! when they are breaking the sacred apartment building code of silence, as I so clearly heard later that afternoon.
There was an apologetic tschuldigung muttered by Mr. Artist, and then golden quiet...for about an hour.
Then as the dude rattled about his apartment with the wife and child, the singing/chanting resumed with full force and the words sounded suspiciously like "Teenage Dream".
I think I'll take the drum hostage.