Neighbours.

Oh my old neighbours, I never thought I’d miss you. With your shit dog, your regular family arguments, your damn budgie. Who the fuck even has a bird as a pet these days? I even miss your weekly visits to my front door where you stood smiling with a laptop in your arms and a “can you fix this?” look in your eyes. I miss you, my old neighbours. Because you’ve been replaced with one of the many things I don’t have the patience to tolerate,

Strangers.

One of them actually claims to work in “media”, who the fuck says that? I could say I work in media too, but I don’t, on account of not wanting to sound like a complete retard. Another one has a tribal tattoo on his forearm and deliberately rolls the sleeve of his shirt so you can see it better and then maybe say things like “oh my, what a lovely tattoo you have there, I am definitely impressed and feel as though we will get on just fine“. There’s another guy too, but I haven’t met him yet. I may have just heard him piss and fart at the same time though.

My room is unfortunately situated quite close to their bathroom, this has never been an issue in the past because humans used to occupy those rooms. It’s nearly 2am and one of our new neighbourinos has decided that now would be a fucking sweet ass time to learn guitar. I say “learn” because it sounds a lot like he’s never even seen a guitar before, let alone play one.

Meanwhile, another one pops into the bathroom and does that super fucking annoying alpha male thing of pissing directly into the middle of the toilet water, he also rips out 2 impressively loud farts just to cement the notion that he is all fucking man, not that I could possibly argue with such an idea, I’m just one of those poncey blokes with common sense, respect for others and all that other totally gay stuff that isn’t push-ups or football.

This is not going to get any better, logic simply dictates a downward spiral from this point on. I mean, we… as pathetic as we are, tend to be cautious at the beginning of anything, like we’re being watched or judged. We are more aware of the mistakes we might otherwise make and, at first… we will avoid making them. Until everyone gets comfortable of course. This is why I don’t like asking people about their new job until after 3 months or so… 3 months seems to be a pretty sweet spot. I will inevitably ask them before this, of course… I am a good friend, but I completely disregard the answers. “Oh it’s super great, the work is real nice and the people are waaaaay awesome”… uh hu, yup… well that’s neat, 3 months later and suddenly the boss is a bit of a jackass, you’re being asked to do too much and you’ve come to the sudden realisation of other peoples selfish acts that somehow manages to surprise you every single time.

Another thing to compare it to would be any guy talking to any attractive female, it’s like the “phone voice”… which is annoyingly something else to compare it to and now I’m fucking confusing myself on how to structure this piece of shit… god damnit, alright… we can do this, let’s go minimalistic… which is probably that fucking “media” idiots favourite word.

The “Phone Voice” is that strange version of you that you never notice, but anyone else who’s paying attention will. It’s what happens when the person we’re talking to can’t see us, our eyes do not have other eyes to focus on, there is no body language to send or to receive and so our mind and our mouth over-compensate for the conversation that we’re currently having, it’s still us… but a different us. Tones may be exaggerated or softened but never normal, it’s common to walk around without direction while talking on the phone, I’m sure you’ve done it. Personally, due to my fuck-nut of a speech impediment I have to simultaneously calm myself down and psych myself up before making a phone call, I fucking hate the damn things. You might think “Hey, writer person… how is that related?”, good question reader person!

Conversation, without typing, is by far my weakest trait… and so it has left me constantly trying to work out how to do it better, and what better way to learn than to listen? That’s right ladies… wipe your teary cheeks on my shoulder. The phone voice is one of the most interesting things to listen to, because during a phone call you become just like me. You listen with an intensified focus, you want to hear the body language so you’ll know what to react with, and you can’t delay either… this is a phone call after all, the silence needs to be filled before you reach that uncomfortable moment where you both start talking at the same time, you’ll laugh, you’ll apologise and you’ll both ask the other to kindly go first… you’re fucking lost, you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing and it’s awkward as shit.

This, is a lot like when people talk to people they want to make a good impression with. It’s the phone voice… but in person, you’re now the “phone person” and “I was just being polite” isn’t going to cut it. You’re mentally pushing and prodding from a safe distance, you want to understand who they are through conversation before starting an actual conversation, and I hate it. I hate it because I learn nothing from it, it’s a fake conversation, the smooth glances you make with your eyes are not real, the head tilts are not real, those small breathless laughs are not real, the constant smiling and the sudden need to give every single shit you can, are not fucking real.

So, this is how I can tell that life with my new neighbours is going to be far from tolerable. Because we had the meaningless conversation outside the front door where you shake hands, swap names at the exact same time you’re both somehow agreeing with something that either you or they said followed swiftly by the immediate realisation that you don’t know each others names but you’ve just had that conversation so you can’t ask again, more agreeing… fucking loads of agreeing, I could point a thumb to ice and say “this is hot as balls” and they’d still agree.

And then, then it is over. 2:00 am rolls around the corner, you find yourself listening to bodily functions and the excited twang of guitar strings while every light in all of their rooms seems to be aimed at your window. Mind you, I bet that “media” guy is being quiet,  probably thinks he’s doing it ironically but it suits me all the same. Then there’s you again, and you’re sat up in bed downloading a “writer” application for your phone so you can start venting without fear of confrontation, you pussy.

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