Oh, where do I start with this one…As I rode the filthy, filthy train home last night, and was happily pondering all the fun things I got to do on a random Monday night (badmouth the Strokes; reject not-so-cute boys in crappy Midtown bars; sarcastically sing “Empire State of Mind” while exiting the actual Empire State Building—“New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of / There’s nothin’ you can’t do…” ), I also got a quick reminder about everything I despise about this town.
“Oh, God, I’m not looking forward to the next 40 to 45 minutes,” I said before I got on the Q Train, which is supposed to be Express but moves at the glacial pace of a 95-year-old shuffling to the bathroom in the morning.
Nowhere else are you reminded of what an elitist you’ve become than on the subway. And why must the subway always smell like someone just shit their pants?
Anyway, I digress. Because I know that someone has probably shit their pants. And they’re right next to me.
These are things I need not know any longer.
I know, I know. When I was a wee lass growing up in white trash Iowa I dreamt of living in a community where diversity and different races and economic levels could live and love and thrive, all in one shining beacon of civilization.
Now, after several years in marginal neighborhoods in large American metropolises, I know that this dream is bullshit. I’ll tell you why.
Let’s use the Fightin’ Akhtars as an example. See, the Akhtars are my downstairs neighbors. And they are assholes. Also, I think they’re Pakistani, but that’s beside the point.
When we looked at this apartment—and I saw the two little kids in the window, I had my reservations. Not because I dislike Pakistanis. Because I dislike kids—loudmouth, irritating, early-rising kids. I did not want to live above kids. But since the place seemed great big and awesome, I did what everyone does in NYC does when negotiating what they can and can’t live with when confronted with a living situation—and trust me, no one, unless you’re P. Diddy or Madonna, gets everything they want out of a NYC living situation—I thought, “How bad could it be?”
Fuck me. If you have to ask this question, move on. Move on as fast as your boots can carry you. Because, like cockroaches, if you see two little idiot kids hanging out in the window, there are probably more.
The Akhtars have become the “Fightin’ Akhtars” because they are loud. And mean to one another. And just general all-around shits. Oh, and did I mention that there’s at least seven or eight of them camping out in an apartment that’s basically built for four people? The father is the worst—he yells at his family constantly. Oh, and I love the hypocrisy of it all when I hear him doing his daily prayers, as if being some sort of Holy Man makes up for the fact that you are a sexist, domineering asshole who treats your wife and kids like shit.
Additionally, they are constantly cooking disgusting smelling shit—Roommate Jim has dubbed it “curry farts”—that bombards our apartment, no matter how many windows I open or fucking fancy candles I’m burning. Also, they control the thermostat for my place, which is freezing all the time, so that’s another reason they suck.
Also, Patriarch Akhtar? Not a fan of women. I am the heathen, demon white woman who lives upstairs making her own money, whose fornicating, free-wheelin’ ways are burning sins in the eyes of Allah.
Here’s an example of the first time I went downstairs to tell them to pipe down after he’d been yelling at his family for about an hour straight round midnight.
Me, pounding on door: Pound, pound, pound.
Them: Fighting, then nothing. I hear them talk like they think someone is pounding at the door. Then they ignore me and he goes back to screaming at everyone.
Me: POUND. POUND. POUND.
Them: Man tells woman to open door since he won’t come talk to me himself. She opens door.
Me: “You guys have got to keep it down. He’s been yelling nonstop for an hour.”
She, looking confused, tries to dismiss me.
Me: “No. You. Have. Got. To. Keep. It. Down.”
That was it. Next round, I called the landlord, who’s been real cool with dealing with them. And apparently, he’s not re-signing their lease, so they’re gone. In June. But it’s been almost a year with these fuckers. And man, do I despise them.
See, NYC does this shit to you. You think you’re all liberal and enlightened. And then you keep passing junkies on the street, and people pissing themselves, and general all-around scumbag behavior. And you think, “That is it! I know this shit goes on. It does not mean I have to be around it any more!”
I realize this column is about as Republican as I’m ever gonna sound, but seriously, folks, I’m not going to do anything horrible, like move to Park Slope and become some Food Co-Op-shopping motherfucker. Now that would be just downright intolerable.