the sound of twenty

Sometimes I sit in my small apartment and I hate on the young girl upstairs at the other end of the building.
She’s loud, on her phone constantly, shouting into it in front of my windows. She stomps up and down the stairs, because she is thin and petite and doesn’t try to lighten her footfalls.

Her dad comes and picks her up on Sunday afternoons. The hug when she gets in his SUV, and they drive away.

Sometimes I think about the woman who shared a wall with me when I lived in a barely renovated motel turned studio apartment.
I played my music so loud. All the time.
Because I needed to.

She knocked on my door one day and saw the speakers that my friend was storing there.
And the ones I was using connected to the actual stereo.
And the ones connected to my computer.
A wall of speakers, taking up much of the apartment.

“I wish you could hear it. It sounds like it is IN my apartment,” she said.

I apologized because I knew I was wrong but I was still 20 and nothing outside of my own head mattered.

I turned it down, but when the right song played I would get lost in that vibe and gradually turn up the volume until I was satisfied, drowning in sound. Tormenting this kind woman who made a single attempt to communicate with me like a normal human adult.

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