“Scrape scrape clatter SCRAPE!”
This is the sound my upstairs neighbours’ clogs make as they grate against the hardwood floor like giant fingernails on a blackboard, at a volume loud enough to actually wake me from a deep, dreamless slumber. At least I imagine their feet clad in clogs. What else could possibly make that unforgivable noise? Although why anyone would slip on a pair of clogs at 2am, I am at an utter loss to understand. Ditto how anyone can stomp around for half an hour at 2am and then begin again, bright eyed and bushy tailed, at 6.30am. I’m beginning to suspect that there may be more than one culprit. Two clog wearers in the same household working different shifts. Statistically unlikely, I know, but I can furnish no other convincing explanation.
Naturally I was not treated to my first clog concerto until the ink was drying on the deeds to the apartment.
“Whhhhhiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrr. Grrrrrrrrr. Ding!” growls the microwave five centimetres away from my pillow at 7 am every morning, part of my elderly neighbour’s morning ritual, no doubt warming milk for a steaming bowl of café crème or a chocolat chaud. I try to look on the bright side. At least I don’t have to shell out for an alarm clock, as it would be superfluous, to say the least.
Tadpole’s side of the apartment shares a wall with the kitchen/dining room belonging to the old lady who often smells of urine and affectionately calls me “ma fille” in her sandpaper voice. She also appears to be hard of hearing, as we are regularly treated to bursts of cheerful North African music played at full blast on the radio. Thankfully she is reasonably quiet in the evenings.
But by far the worst noise pollution I have experienced so far were the shenanigans I overheard on Christmas day, when I fell gratefully into the warm embrace of my duck-down duvet after mainlining champagne and foie gras from noon until midnight. The culprits were, once again, the upstairs neighbours. This time the clogs were off, as, I imagine, were most of their garments. And evidently they had discovered a new pastime: sex. With what I can only describe as noisy abandon and great gusto Mr Clogs serviced his good lady wife from midnight until a little after 4 am.
Since I’ve been living here since late July, and this was both the first and the only time I’ve overheard so much as a moan of pleasure, I can only conclude that this was an annual lovemaking session and will consequently not be repeated before the evening of 25 December 2007. Call me an optimist, but I live in hope (but with emergency waxy earplugs at the ready).
I have never met my upstairs neighbours, but I am told they own their apartment. But in today’s post I received the convocation to the (also) annual assemblée générale des copropriétaires for my building which will take place next week. Nothing could keep me away. I need to know what a woman who brays like a donkey during coitus and is capable of upwards of ten orgasms in one single night looks like.
Whether I will feel able to look my neighbours in the eye, or be sufficiently bold to humbly request that they might consider wearing less offensive nocturnal footwear in the future, is another matter entirely. I can imagine the conversation already.
“Les murs sont comme du carton ici, n’est ce pas?”
“Ah, on vous dérange, mademoiselle?”
“Non, non, pas du tout…”
Sometimes I hate my British side.