The always unique and wonderful Cooper
is Shayna’s guest on my musical highway this week.
When Lucia was a girl contractor, she did the doors shown in this triplex apartment in the Pierre for Lady Fairfax, and other things. Haven’t seen the slide show yet. Very excited. The apartment’s on the market for 70 mil. Interested?
Lucia was known more for her gold leafing, milk painting, ornamental plastering and other great finishes. Lucia was one of the first girl contractors. She was precise, hired the best and unaffordable. Painted my apartment nine years ago, and I’m first getting ready to repaint. I don’t know why I’m so excited, but I am. She made me a mirror with wording about friends on it. It’s framed in decorative plaster and is one of my prized possessions.
Frank Rich is probably the man I like most that I have never met or exchanged emails with, except of course for James Spader. This is a classic Rich column. It’s on the man who calls himself president but thinks that’s he a dictator. I can say this because I’m a blogger and don’t have to worry about editors having heart attacks or strokes because of my words. I have driven one crazy, but that was fun.
All week I was looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday morning, the one morning that there is no drilling. It became cold suddenly. My bedroom has hidden pipes all over it, including under the floor. In order to heat the apartments that face Riverside Drive the heat is very high. In order to sleep, I must open the windows, not a crack, but at least one third up. Don’t worry, on top of all the other charges, we pay a monthly fuel surcharge. When windows are open we hear more. I have very acute hearing.
My upstairs neighbor used to live in a boat on the Boat Basin. After 9/11 he was deemed a security risk as he drinks too much. When he drinks he falls. I spent many months after the attack either hearing his falls in my sleep or spending the night awake waiting for the ultimate fall.
He would vomit for hours without closing the bathroom door. I would hear it. It almost became comical as he sounds like an animal. But I tend to get nauseous if other people are being sick. So nauseous I too can….
Though the only place I’m brash is in my blog, I worked up the courage to speak to The Board about it. While most people would have spoken to him first, I know from my work experience never to confront a drunk without back-up.
He did get carpeting and it became better. When I go into my bedroom bath, if he’s home, I hear self-help tapes playing. I can’t hear the words but I recognized some of the voices from my self-help days. Sometimes he plays tapes that sound like cattle auctions. Lately, he’s been playing a tape that seems to have interruptions by dogs woofing. Though there are plenty of dogs in the building, he doesn’t have one, and it’s one bark every three minutes. Yes, I timed it. I was curious.
The doormen have many stories about having to leave their posts to escort him to his apartment. They obviously don’t respect him but seem to have a weird type of affection for him.
I have heard his speaking voice. I pictured him as WASPY, in Top-sider shoes, khaki’s and polo shirts when not working. I found that comforting as some of my favorite drunks….I actually began to worry about him. He comes home earlier and earlier. No matter how loud the TV or stereo is, I can’t but hear his falls. He now spends all day Sunday in bed with his damn self help tapes playing.
Our building is about as soundproof as you can get. I do play loud music, and my downstairs neighbors claim that they never hear me. Only my large bathroom abuts another apartment. In some ways it feels like living in a private home.
One day I was about to get into the elevator. Fernando the doorman, took me aside and said in one of his famed stage whispers:
“Henry is in the elevator.”
I looked at a balding runt of a man, with many nose hairs, crumpled clothes that looked as if they had been last washed in the last century, and had never seen an iron, scruffy black shoes that needed to be laced and I wanted to cry.
Until that moment I hadn’t realized I had romanticized this man. No, not as if in, I wanted to date him, but to make him more tolerable to me.
This morning at seven, he began to scream: “No, no, no.” It wasn’t a sexual kind of “no.” It was an “I’m going to be sick,’no.'” Yes it sure was.
I almost took my broom and hit it on the ceiling, but was too lazy to get out of bed. I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Someday I will sleep late.