During the last half of July, it seemed like all I did was wait. I had submitted all of the tests and paperwork required for the move. I already had the keys to my apartment. They had already cashed the check. I had to be out of Chateau by the end of the month. While the staff at Chateau did not want to discharge me before my insurance with the state was reinstated, I had a place to go, if I just wanted to be somewhere else on the 31st.
If I left Chateau before being discharged, it would technically be against doctor’s orders. That would mean that the county workers assigned to my case would not be able to keep assisting me. However if I stayed at Chateau into August, I would owe around $1000. I would be better off keeping the money and going down to the Hennepin County social services building regularly and being randomly assigned a worker. I would have food, shelter, transportation, and my cellphone. Friends could bring my bed, clothes, and car. Even if my services weren’t fully restored until September, I would come out better from a financial standpoint.
I had largely run out of self-mandated tasks as well. I was a month ahead with my blog, and I had gotten the maximum I could reasonably expect from weightlifting for a while. I was as ready as I was going to be to move into my own apartment. So I stopped spending so much time writing and going to the gym. The World Cup had ended, so I was no longer busy with that. Instead, I continued spending all the time I could hanging out with friends. I accepted every invitation extended. I even had coffee with a neighbor from two decades before, when I lived in Wisconsin. These times were wonderful. I had almost forgotten that a major reason for all of this rehabilitation was so that I could enjoy magical summers in Minneapolis once more.
My county relocation worker called on the last Wednesday of the month to tell me that I could move the next day. I had plans already, but she told me that I might not have another chance to move before August. After I hung up the phone with her, I called my friend Dave. Since he works for himself, he said that he would be able to help bring a few of my things over from storage at his house. He actually had my mattress and box spring, but he would have to wait until he had help to move them.
I went home and started packing up my one suitcase. I figured that I could fill it once, empty it, and fill it one more time. That would be enough space to finish the move in two trips. The entire move would take fewer than three hours.
My moving specialist helped me to move the following afternoon. Dave took me to the dry cleaners, then brought me to my apartment. After he unloaded my things, I showed him the new apartment and common areas of the building Since he couldn’t bring my bed, the relocation specialist had given me a mattress to sleep on temporarily. So after Dave and I made a run to the grocery store, I had everything I needed for basic living arrangements.
Once everyone had gone for the night, it was still early. I did not have cable or a WiFi connection, and my cellphone would not hold a charge. So I packed up my cellphone and laptop and went to the community room in the basement. The room was spacious with many places to sit. It was also abandoned, so I found a table that was close to an outlet, plugged in the computer, and began typing. The thoughts seemed to flow more easily while I was sitting in a quiet, new space, and soon it was 5:00. The nursing staff called me and asked me to come get my medications. I didn’t feel like packing up everything just to go to their second floor office, so they agreed to bring my meds down to me.
I kept writing at a furious pace, and soon it was 8:00. The nursing staff called for me to come and get my final meds for the night. Since I was starting to get hungry, I decided that it would be a good time to stop and grab something to eat. So I went by the office to take my meds, then I went up to my apartment. As I stepped off the elevator, I heard music blaring loudly. It was coming from the apartment next door. I went inside my apartment, and sure enough, you could hear it coming through the wall. Knowing that I would not be able to relax, I went back down to the basement. There I ordered delivery and began watching videos on my laptop.
Around 11:00, it felt like a good time to stop for the night. I rode the elevator up to my apartment, ready to finally fall asleep. As I stepped off the elevator, I heard the music playing just as loudly. I became incensed. I knocked on the door, ready to ask him to turn it down. No one answered, so I knocked with my cane. No one answered again, so I banged even louder. Still there was no answer, so I went down to the first floor and complained to the security officer.
The security officer acted bewildered, as though he was surprised at being asked to intervene. “You want me to come upstairs and say something?”
“Yes. It’s almost midnight. People should be able to sleep at some time!”
“A’ight. Let me go up there and knock on the door.”
I rode the elevator back upstairs with him. I went into my room to get ready for bed. I heard him knock on the door. It opened, and he told the occupant to keep it down. At first I was relieved to finally be getting some peace and quiet. But as I started undressing, I noticed that the music was still too loud for me to ignore it. I tried playing a couple of YouTube videos to drown out the noise, but even that didn’t help. Reluctantly I put all my clothes back on to back downstairs to complain about the noise level.
This time when security knocked on the door, my neighbor didn’t answer. So the officer knocked twice more. The occupant still didn’t answer. Eventually the security officer just went back downstairs. I waited in my apartment, assuming that there was some protocol in place. After the music didn’t go down after ten minutes, I went down to the security desk again. The officer was sitting there with a blank look on his face so I reiterated, “That music is still way too loud.”
“I knocked on the door; he didn’t answer.”
“So what now? Do I just not get any sleep?”
He said nothing.
“Isn’t there somebody you can call?”
“Let me call my supervisor.” He picked up the phone and began talking. After a while he looked at me and asked, “You want me to call 911?”
“I don’t like to do that, but if he won’t even answer the door for security, it’s not like he gave us a choice.”
So he dialed 911 and put in the complaint. After he hung up, he told me that they would arrive in a few minutes. Satisfied that everything would be resolved shortly, I went back to my apartment and sat on the love seat. The music was truly annoying, but I endured it, knowing that it would soon end.
After about twenty minutes, I heard the police knock on the door. There was a brief conversation with the tenant, during which I heard on of the officers tell him, “We could hear it as soon as we came off the stairwell.” The volume now went way down. I stripped down to my underwear and prepared for bed.
The mattress I had to sleep on temporarily did not fit the frame in my bedroom, so it sat on the floor of the front room. Because I couldn’t sleep in the bedroom, I could still faintly hear my neighbor’s music. Luckily there was an outlet near one of the ends of the mattress. I plugged in my phone charger, then used the earbuds to help me drown out the sound by playing videos until I fell asleep.
I woke up around 6:30 the next morning. I maneuvered myself to the edge of the mattress and got into a seated position. From there I tried to use my right hand to push me up to a standing position. However my arm was not long enough to help me stand all the way up. Each time I would stand about halfway up. Then my hand would lose contact with the mattress, and I would tumble back down.
Finally I had to roll over onto my stomach and crawl on my elbows until I was parallel with the love seat. From there I could use the method I had learned three years ago: Plant my left foot on the ground. Kneel on my right knee and plant my right palm. Rest my left elbow on the surface (in this case, the love seat.) Now it was just a matter of pushing upward until I was high enough to roll over into a seated position on the love seat.
When the staff person brought me my 7:00meds, I asked her to help me finish getting dressed. Then I packed up my laptop and phone so I could head down to the basement to work on my blog. Once I stepped into the community room, I could see sunlight streaming in from the windows. I went outside to enjoy this perfect first morning at my new building.
I spent most of the day blogging and watching videos in the basement. Since I hadn’t installed WiFi or air conditioning in my apartment yet, it was more comfortable to stay downstairs. The medical staff brought my 1:00 pm meds to me, and I had a sandwich delivered for lunch. I went to my apartment around 4:30. To my chagrin, there was loud music emanating from next door again. Since it was so early, I went downstairs to complain to the building manager. When I got to the office, I saw that there was a sign stating that office hours ended at 4:00. Now I wondered whether my neighbor was in the habit of waiting until after management had gone for the day so he could blast music with impunity.
I felt dejected. Yet it was uncomfortable anyway, so I ordered a pizza and went back downstairs where it was cool. Once the pizza delivery driver arrived in the lobby, I came upstairs to meet him. The security officer offered to bring it up to my apartment. Because my neighbor’s music was so loud, I sat down and quickly ate two slices of pizza. Then I wrapped up two more slices to take back downstairs with me.
After 11:00, I came back up to my apartment. My neighbor had turned down his music some. I went into my apartment and began to get ready for bed. The music was still coming through the wall, but I felt too tired to get dressed and complain. Instead I put in my earbuds and played videos as loudly as I could. It still was not enough to drown out the music.
I lay there all night waiting for the music to die down. He still hadn’t turned it down by 4:00 in the morning. How inconsiderate could he possibly be? Didn’t he realize that other tenants needed sleep? Did he simply not care? It was 6:00 when I woke and finally noticed that the music had been turned off. I tried to go back to sleep, but somehow I was too worked up too relax. If this was how things were going to be every night, I was going to be miserable. With a level of irritation this high, I would be asking for another stroke.