Dear Mr. Pachyderm,
At first, I was unsure if I should address this letter to you or Ms. Pachyderm, or perhaps both. But ultimately I decided that you are the one that I seem to chat with a little more when I see you on the way to the parking lot or returning to the apartment with your groceries, so you may be the one I can reason with a bit better. Actually, I don't think that you and your significant other are technically Mr. and Ms. Pachyderm in the matrimonial sense, but you are a cohabitating boyfriend/girlfriend pair at the very least.
I admit that neither Dean or I were happy to see you guys move in. The apartment above us was empty the first two months we lived here, and it was really nice. We enjoyed not having to worry about bothering any upstairs neighbors with music or noise (especially helpful that first week we were here, when we were turning on the rather loud pump to re-fill the air-losing air mattress numerous times throughout the night, as we kept waking up on the floor). But when you and Ms. Pachyderm moved in, you seemed friendly and chatty. All was good.
If life was a novel, we would have been treated to a little literary foreshadowing on your moving day, as that is the first time I heard you guys fighting on the front steps. Of all the little comments of the day, what sticks out is that you continually said "We can't afford all of this". But I thought...well, I actually didn't think too much about it at all, having lots of things of my own to think about at the time. Moving is stressful and brings out the worst in many. A little bickering on moving day is pretty normal, in my opinion.
It was a few days after that we nicknamed you "the pachyderms". Like elephants, hippos and rhinos, you both sound like large creatures thundering across the floor when you walk through your living room, and it seems a miracle that you haven't ended up falling through our ceiling and landing on our sofa yet. You seemed to enjoy a honeymoon period of cohabitating bliss at first because it took a few weeks for the fighting to begin. But begin it did, and in earnest. Money mostly, some division of household labor thrown in. Honestly, I was more annoyed than interested. Yes, you guys are out of money. Perhaps you shouldn't have bought that fancy surround sound system or ordered that pizza last night.
But then, the loudest and clearest fight to date. Ms. Pachyderm yelling and crying "I swear I didn't take anything", then you running out of the apartment, slamming the door on the way out. I began to wonder: what did she take (or not take, according to her)? Money or some material thing from the apartment? Or is it drugs she swears she did not touch? I often see her wearing scrubs, and wonder what she does for a living. Does her job or schooling give her easy drug access? Suddenly, an elaborate scene began to play out in my mind.
You guys must have smoothed things over, because we were blessed with another period of quiet. Well, quiet relative to the fighting. Your surround-sound system would be classified as anything but quiet, and the explosion-heavy action movies with the wall-shaking special effects seem to be your preferred cinematic genre, upping the noise level considerably when compared to, say, a romantic comedy. Between the blast-em up thrillers, your footsteps and the fact that you guys seem to always communicate in elevated tones, the indoor vs. outdoor voice concept apparently lost on you, we won't be seeing true quiet unless y'all head out for vacation.
I do have a confession, and it is a bit of a shameful one. When I hear you begin to fight, I stop, be quiet and listen. I am an eavesdropping maniac at the first raised voice, when muffled words become discernible. As someone who tries to minimize drama in her own life, I am somehow letting myself get caught up in the soap opera plot playing out one floor above me. This is terrible trait and I promise I'll do better to ignore the goings-on from here on in. I need to remind myself that, although it may seem like a reality television episode that I'm hearing, it is your real life. It must be frustrating and hard to be in a situation where you are hurling and being hit by such unkind words from one that you supposedly love.
Last Friday was the very first time that I felt truly startled by what I heard. You were obviously locked out of the apartment, standing in the hall banging on the door, yelling "Let me in, this is my house too, I'll call the police if I need to". I could heard an upset Ms. Pachyderm from the other side of the door, then you "I don't want anything to do with you, I just want my stuff". Lots of time passed, with you knocking, yelling, banging on the door, but it seems that you were finally let in. A couple of minutes later, I hear one big "bang" from upstairs, then...silence. I admit I was worried. What happened? Should I knock on the door, call police? Ultimately I heard you both upstairs, no more raised voices. Now, it seems as if you are back - both cars are in the apartment lot. Same old stuff to come, I'm guessing.
But take some advice from the sweet gal who lives in the apartment below you. You both are so very young right now, and have your whole lives ahead of you. Maybe you guys are not meant to be, and it is time to part ways. Or perhaps try some couples therapy to help you learn how to talk things out without the yelling, screaming and crying you currently rely on. Marriage is not easy, and one key to a good one is the ability to communicate with your partner like two rational adults (or have the sense to walk away and return when you feel calm enough to tuck back inside the screaming banshee of a child and speak in a more effective manner). Life is full of enough unavoidable drama, home should be a place where all that drama can be set aside.
Please consider this for, as much as your fighting is an annoying background buzz that results in me having to turn up the television, the hurtful words are what you are both using to pave the path to the rest of your lives. And a rocky one it will continue to be if you don't move past these childish ways.
With hope that you guys can either work it out or move on,
the sweet gal who lives downstairs from you
P.S. May I ask what you guys are using all that water for? It seems like, between the kitchen and bathroom pipe noises, you have the water on oh, 5 or 6 hours some days. What can that possibly be for?