As I was comfortably lounging in my easy chair yesterday evening, smooching my lovely baby's chubby cheeks, I heard the unmistakable sound of raindrops splattering on the tile driveway outside. "What the Sam heck...?" I muttered, glancing outside. It was 80 degrees yesterday. It's April. It doesn't rain here in April. Rain is sooooo January and February. We ought not see another raindrop until October in November. What was going on?
Sure enough, when I got up inspect the situation more closely, the sky was still blazing blue, but it was raining just outside our sliding glass door. Or was it really rain? I slid the door open, stupidly looked skyward, and took a soapy drop of falling water in the eye. "What the Sam heck...?" I quickly scooted outside several paces away from the door and assessed the situation. Workers upstairs, who have been preparing the upstairs flat for occupants for several weeks now, were washing the windows!
But still, you might rightly ask yourself, why were they dumping dirty water all down the side of the building so it soiled your windows, mud-puddled on your patio, and dribbled brown-ly through your hair if you happened to innocently decide to -- oh, I don't know -- leave your home? Isn't there a more appropriate and sanitary way to wash the inside of windows (in case you mistakenly thought they were washing the outside, which they weren't)? All excellent questions, I would answer, were you and I to have such a hypothetical discussion, which we're not, because I'm the only one talking.
I was so frustrated that I called up through the open window: "HEY!!" A worker's face appeared and gave a short, quick shake of the head along with a slight furrow of the eyebrows, as if to say, "What could possibly be so great a problem that you felt compelled to summon me to the window in such a Rappunzel-esque manner?"
I couldn't think of what to say -- no Arabic was coming to my tongue in my rancorous state of mind. Even English was failing me as I stared down this guy who was so oblivious of his rotten manners. So, instead, I stuck my arms to the side, palms up, surveyed the rivers of brown water streaming down the side of the building, down my windows, and across my patio, and then looked back at him with an expression that could only have said, "Dude. What. The."
He laughed. I didn't. He called down in Arabic: "I'll be done in 10 minutes. Then someone will come clean up." I just stared at him for another three or four seconds, then I shook my head and slowly walked back inside. Un.Be.Lievable.
Usually I'm a little more level-headed. But seriously, I've had it with the dudes upstairs. A couple weeks ago, somebody was hammering on something (hopefully a coffin because they're going to need one pretty soon) at 8:30 p.m. Okay, that's fine, I thought. But when 12:30 a.m. rolled around, dude was still hammering, and I was still counting sheep. By now though, my imaginary little sheep were fixing bayonets. I stalked upstairs and banged on the door.
To his credit, the guy who answered had a sheepish look on his face, which spared him from all the Arabic curses I had pulled back in the catapult. His little mustache would've been quivering after the verbal assault I had planned. His tacit acknowledgement of guilt, however, tapped the single drop of charity I had remaining in my body, and instead of saying what I'd been thinking for the previous four hours, I simply said, "It's 12:30. I have kids. I have to work tomorrow. Please. Enough."
So those are the only two times I've had contact with the workers upstairs. So far, no blood has been spilt, praise Allah. But, dude. I will scratch and pull hair if necessary.