when bruce told me early last week about the women's march in boston, i didn't think i'd go. standing in the cold with a bunch of people listening to some speakers then marching didn't seem interesting. as the week went on though, i began to hear more and more about the march. it wasn't just washington dc and boston, it was happening in every major city in the US and in some small cities as well. it was also happening around the world. i figured at least a few thousand people would show up in boston, or maybe 10,000, but the numbers of people RSVP'ing on facebook kept on increasing upwards of 80,000. even if only half showed up, that would still be an impressive number, and i finally decided i wanted to see this for myself, out of curiosity, but also if me being there can somehow send a message to the new administration, i was all for it. and when i casually mentioned it to my mother, she thought it was a great idea, when typically she's uninterested with my activities.
the march started at 11am, but bruce and i decided we'd leave at 11am, as the first hour or so was all speakers and performances, and we weren't particularly interested in either. i met jack and bruce at their place and together we walked down to porter square station. already we were seeing protestors, groups of people wearing pink pussyhats, or carrying signs. strange thing was many were all going in the opposite direction of the station, so i wonder if there was a local protest happening in union square somerville. the weather was especially nice, sun and blue sky, with temperature in the upper 40's and reaching upper 60's by midday.
my upstairs neighbors were especially loud tonight. i got so frustrated that i banged on the wall until a wooden wall hanging fell to the floor. i was so angry i picked up the phone and called my neighbor steve, both on his home phone and his cell phone. nobody answered the home phone and i kept it ringing. the cell phone did go to voicemail, i left a message inviting them downstairs to hear the noise for themselves. i also wrote both steve and paul an e-mail, asking if they were home and to come downstairs if they had time. i didn't hear from them but it did make me feel better.
around 10pm steve called me back. while i was already in a good mood, he seemed pissed over the phone, accusing me of being overly sensitive to noise, and said that noises is a normal part of city life. "you just have to suck it up," he advised. when i asked if he'd be interested in coming down and hearing for himself, he was incensed. "i'm not coming down." i told him obviously not tonight because it was already so late, but some other time. all the while i was the voice of calm and reason why he seemed like a ranting lunatic.
i think one reason he doesn't want to come downstairs because he knows it's loud. and as long as he doesn't hear it for himself, he can rationalize that it's really not that loud. "it's only set to 25," he told me, regarding the television volume. "25 out of 50, or 25 out of 100?" i asked. he paused. "out of 50," he replied. he also used his deafness card, said he was deaf in one ear. i told him i was deaf as well, which nullified that argument. in the end we came to the agreement that at some later date in the future, he would come down to hear the noise for himself and i'd go upstairs and see for myself that his tv is actually not very loud. before i could say good bye he abruptly hung up.
even if steve doesn't change his ways, at least my constant complaints will remind him to be considerate of others. my fear was if i don't say anything and just learn to live with it, then it's like submitting to a bully. but given how easily annoyed he seems, maybe he won't have long to live and i can have new neighbors soon.