At Large Elsewhere: Fighting Clean

A few weeks back, Peter Filichia wrote a column called “Fighting Clean,” in which he talked about how he went note for note with a boom-box squatter on his front stoop. The guy came and sat with his radio blasting, so Peter fought fire with The Sound of Music motion picture¬†soundtrack. I immediately related; I did something similar back when I was in college. I love a shout-out and I got a brief one in his August Leftovers column, which contains other similar anecdotes. Here was mine in its entirety:

It was fall 2003 and I was a junior in New Paltz. I was never one for partying, so I usually stayed in on weekends while the rest went out. During the second weekend of this semester I came down with a terrible sinus infection, and a nasty one at that. I¬†could hardly breathe, my head was pounding and was shaking. I lived suite style in the dorms. My roommates were all out getting drunk. I was in bed highly medicated and trying to get some much needed rest. Unfortunately, I was in a corner room, so the wall next to my bed was shared with another suite area entirely (no one we bothered getting to know). Well sir, the neighbors come in around 3:30AM (bars closed at 4) and proceeded to blast their music as loud as possible. I couldn’t even tell you what it was, but it was loud, dissonant and rather angry. (and did I mention loud…?)

Anyway, I was lying there sick and growing increasingly frustrated. When I’d had enough, I started pounding on the wall. They either couldn’t hear me or were ignoring me. My calls to the RAs and night watch crew were unanswered. I couldn’t get through to anyone. So I took it into my own hands. I pulled myself out of bed, brought myself to my desk and very casually flipped through my CD collection. I then set up my computer speakers facing the wall, popped on the original Broadway cast recording of “Evita” and played “A New Argentina” at the loudest volume possible. Within ten minutes not only had the music stopped, they left. I turned everything off, medicated and got back into bed with a smile and slept until I felt human again.

A few weeks later, they pulled the same stunt. I was home by myself again, but healthy. Again, couldn’t get through. So I grabbed my phone, put on my shoes and stormed over to their suite door. I pounded; they opened up the door and with as much authority and attitude I could muster, said “We’ve been getting complaints…” They cut off the music, apologized and I gave them one last disappointed dad glare before heading back to my room. Never had a problem again.

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