A lot has happened since the last time I reported on our domestic situation. First off, we lobbied our landlord to fix the shower–and he finally did, after 6 years! He did, because I told him N had scalded himself. “Scalding” is a magical word in NYC housing law. I was pretty impressed with my savvy.

So he sent someone to fix it, and they did, with mixed results.

On the plus side, we got new, non-leaking fixtures that actually allowed us to control the temperature of the water.

On the negative side, it took two weeks of us showering in a tub sealed off with contractor garbage bags and gaffer’s tape before they sent anyone to put tile over the gaping hole the plumber had created.

On the plus side, we met the super from the building next door*, a gracious former death metal drummer. (I don’t know what it’s like to go from touring Europe and getting blowjobs every night to living in a basement with your mother, in Queens. I imagine it’s not much fun.) We told him how much we hated hated HATED our neighbors and our apartment and the building, and he told us that if anything opened up in his building, he’d let us know. Because we are nice people.

Flash forward a few weeks and N & I had begun perusing Craigslist apartment ads daily in order to temper the escalating bloodlust we felt toward our neighbors. I was literally hitting Apple+R every 15 minutes.

An apartment from the building next door appeared in the list. A 2BR in one of the two most coveted lines in the building (this building is identical to ours, and is a prewar job, so each apartment line is–for some bizarre reason–a different shape. There are two lines with absolutely enormous living rooms, and this place was in one of them) and it was available for March 1. We went over to see it that night. We overlooked the quirks–the cabinet- and drawer-less kitchen painted bright green, the decrepit bathroom (I know, I know…)–because all we could think of was HOW BIG THIS PLACE WAS and how we could fit ALL OF OUR SHIT and THEN SOME. We grilled them: Are the neighbors noisy? Does anyone downstairs smoke? How is the water pressure? They claimed everyone was really quiet and kept to themselves.

So we decamped our 1BR with the awesome view of the city and not a single good quality beyond that, found someone to take over our lease**, and moved in last weekend.

It’s the biggest place I’ve ever lived in NYC. You could fit most studio apartments inside our living room. So that’s cool. The wood floors are nice and level. The bedrooms get good light. And they were right–the neighbors are pretty quiet.

So our first night, we got into bed, all proud of ourselves that we’d finally escaped all the screaming, banging, slamming, hammering, drilling, sawing, and smoking. It was so very quiet.

At first.

At 1 am, a startlingly loud whirring noise woke us up. I lived next to a long-haul trucker growing up. Sometimes in the winter he’d leave his truck running all night (or else it wouldn’t start). It sounded like that. We wandered around the apartment trying to figure out its origin–the floors were actually vibrating.

And then it clicked off. And 45 minutes later, it clicked back on. And then off. And then on. And then off.

It turns out that we live above the building’s boiler.

Which means that everyone whose name I cursed for the past 6 years has had the last fucking laugh. Oh, but let’s just see who’s first up against the wall when the revolution happens. At least our living room’s bigger now.

Lullaby for the Strange, by Gabriel Hart. [Via A Little Necrophilia.]

*Who, unlike the super from our building–the Serbian war criminal who once told me, when he was hooking up my gas stove in a rather cavalier way, “In my country, is man talk and woman listen, you know?” –actually does work.
**More on that later.
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