I’m doing some exercise in front of the TV when I hear a rare knock on the door. Nobody ever visits me except to collect overdue bills. I answer. It’s the neighbour from upstairs - the very same neighbour who wakes me up everyday dragging furniture across the wooden floors of his apartment, or by marching up and down in shoes, or by allowing his evil little mutt of a dog to bark endlessly. I’ve always wanted to confront him or his wife about it.
“Hi, I live upstairs. One of our bedsheets has fallen down into your yard.”
I live on the ground floor. My yard is the building’s dustbin, littered with cigarette butts and other assorted junk. Now it appears they have dropped something they want back.
“Could you go and check if it is there for me?” he asks.
I should say something. ‘This is the man who has cost you hours of sleep’, I remind myself.
“Sure. One second.”
I go and look but I can’t find it. He apologises for disturbing me - this time - and leaves. I return to my exercise.
“Hi, I can see it on the roof of your laundry room.”
I don’t want to look again so I invite him in to check for himself, being infinitely more polite than I ought to be and that he has ever been to me. He finds it and walks back through my living room with the sheet draped over a pole.
I never said anything. This morning his dog woke me up again.