Sunday, November 27, 2011


The following evening I’m minding my own business, sitting at my desk in my blissful little Upper East Side apartment, working on the computer. I hear my upstairs neighbor come home. The floor above my head creaks a little then goes silent. I reach for the remote and channel surf, looking for something to create a little noise so I don’t feel totally alone.

I know television is a mind-numbing idiot box. But sometimes I can go several days without coming into contact with anyone, so there are days, like today when I just need to hear voices in conversation. No surprise, an episode of Law and Order captures my attention and draws me in. At the halfway point a commercial comes on and I get up for some Diet Coke.

Because the “kitchen” is just outside the bathroom, I can hear dripping from inside the loo. Hhhmm. I set the Diet Coke on the counter and switch on the light. What in the Sam Hill? The ceiling above the tub and sink are wet. This is disconcerting because there is a light fixture above the sink that I hope does not get wet, short circuit and set the apartment building on fire. 

I forget the Diva Cola break, find my shoes, pull a sweater over my tank top and march up the stairs to investigate the leak. I knock on the door. A minute passes. I knock again. Nothing. But I can hear someone moving inside. I knock again and say, “Hello? Say I live below you and your bathroom is leaking all over mine!” The door finally opens and thin and lithe Asian man wearing only white boxer shorts appears. “Yes?” he says in a quick, clipped tone. “Uhm, yea. So your shower is leaking all over my bathroom,” I repeat. I really wish he would put on some clothes.

“I took a shower,” he says. He has an accent and is still wet. And I know he took a shower, the after shower is all over my loo! “Yea, well we need to let the super know….” “Fine, call him, let me know,” he says and shuts the door.

Aiy! Really? I mean I guess this is MY problem. He is negatively affecting my bathroom. But you know, if my bathroom leaked all over someone else’s and we were in a rental I’d be able to muster up some compassion. I get back into my apartment and call the super. Lo the shock, immediately I go into voicemail. So I leave a message and hope the Super calls me back. Soon. I feel pretty confident that this Super is not nearly as great as the previous one.

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