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The Viejito Next Door

March 10, 2010

The viejito who lives in the apartment next door is really loud.  Right now, for example. I can hear him clomping up the wooden stairs with his cane.  Soon, he’ll turn on the tv so loud we’ll be able to understand the dialogue through the wall and across the room.  Around 2:00 am, the nightmares will begin, and by 7:30 in the morning, he’ll be on the phone, having passionate conversations in an amalgam of Spanish and English that could only exist in Miami.

We love our apartment, our neighborhood and everything about living here except for this viejito next door. Mind you we’ve never said anything to him about the noise level, nor could we really, when we have a noisy nearly-three-year-old ourselves.  Instead, we do our best to ignore it and if it gets to be too much we turn on the white noise cd on the stereo and try to fall asleep.

He’s a sweet old man, and cute as a button too, driving his Porsche and propping his front door open with his cane all day so his cat Mercedes can get in and out at will.  He always says hello to us, has something sweet to comment about our son, and is generally a really nice neighbor.  I’m sure that if I ever needed to borrow a cup of sugar or have someone look in on our cats, he’d be more than happy to oblige.

When it comes to neighbors, there is an element of selection within our online communities that just doesn’t exist in the real world. We also have the choice to unfollow, unfriend or tune out entirely, so sometimes we take for granted the need to be neighborly in what we choose to post.

Despite existing among hundreds or thousands of neighbors, we shout out announcements rather than start conversations. The resulting level of volume can be deafening.

I guess these are the tradeoffs we make for community online, the noise we tolerate in exchange for the connections we enjoy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 12:20 am

    Great post. This makes me like you even more than I already did. Thanks for cutting el viejito some slack. If he could hear, he’d probably be nice enough to ignore any noise coming from his neighbors. 🙂

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