The cats are now staying with The Dandy. The harpy downstairs was throwing fits whenever she could hear them running around and it was getting to where I’d have a panic attack every time one of them jumped off the bed or trotted across the room. With them gone, there will be much less chance of unpredictable noise So my stress levels will (hopefully) go down.
Meanwhile, my landlady is all up my ass to repaint the apartment before I even give notice (I painted the living room orange when I moved in, and I caused damage to the kitchen wall that got fixed but not painted). Every time I mention to the landlady that an apartment person might be calling her for a reference, she’s like “uh-huh so have you started painting yet?” and I can’t tell if this is her worrying that I won’t make good on my promise to paint before I give notice or if she’s applying a subtle kind of blackmail.
One big reason I haven’t painted yet is that Harpy has been acting like more and more of a psychopath over ever tiny noise I make, specifically anything where there’s noise against my floor/her ceiling. And so I kind of assume that stuff like setting down paint cans will make her fly into a rage.
I kind of didn’t want to give Harpy and her boyfriend the satisfaction of knowing I’m moving out, but I realized if they do know this, and that the noise of painting is a temporary thing that will lead to me being gone, maybe they can manage to STFU for a while. So I bit the bullet and sent a neutral, pleasant email explaining the situation and asking them to bear with me.
They’ve got me so rattled that I waited until I was at The Dandy’s to send the email; I could picture Harpy checking it and making a point of audibly cheering for my leaving or yelling to her partner “we finally drove her out!” or something. Or possibly (but probably not; I think she’s become smarter about not leaving an evidence trail) writing a snarky email back, and I just don’t want to be dealing with her passive aggression while she’s right underneath me.
When I hit “send” I (instinctively; irrationally) found myself thinking “shit, what if she gets mad that the email disturbs her?”
I wasn’t picturing her being woken up by her phone chirping a notification. I was picturing my message somehow landing in her inbox with a thump.
Last night The Dandy clunked off a pice of furniture and the thump made me flinch automatically (“Harpy is banging the ceiling! Shit! What did I do this time?!”).
It’s going to be a long time before I can recover from living above her.
I contacted the landlord-tenant board (or…some legal housing thingy) and they gave me some info and phone numbers. There’s an association that will actually call my landlords and TELL them that it’s their responsibility to stop Harpy’s harassment. There’s also a form I can fill out to say I’m being harassed and ask for a rebate on some of my rent due to not feeling properly safe and happy in my own living space.
If I go that route, my landlords probably won’t give me good references for a new apartment, but apparently there are legal ways around that, too. I’ll make some calls.