Paper thin walls are both a novelty and a curse. I hear the way he begs for her attention with the opening of his patio door to the semi mediocre sunset views. And I wish a stranger good luck as he runs the bases of a game I quit playing a while ago.

She’s cute, you’ve got this 94.

The music. It’s terrible. And not because of the bass. Or the constant blatant disregard for the permeation of sound from his bedroom to my diary.

Alexa volume: 0, please god ZERO

Two people I’ve never met giggle at each other over dance breaks of a song most likely on the radio I’ve lost touch with, engulfed in a feeling I haven’t felt in a while.

I’m her. The single woman in Apt 96 who judges the noise because she forgot how to make her own.

I pick up a book.

A glass breaks.

A roar of laughter ensues.

I lay my head on my pillow.

A hum of pleasure they make.

Likely a product of booze.

A decade ago, I kept the dial turned. The music loud. The sunsets on my radar. And I swore to myself I’d never stop making memories even if the crotchety old lady in apartment 96 called the cops on me for the third time.

When did we become what we fought so hard to dodge? Unruly neighbors becoming reminders of an unfinished past.

I want to play.

I blinked and I’m here. Checking my clock for quiet hours. Trying to google common courtesy codes of conduct in an apartment 100% attached to a stranger. Ten years ago I was attached to strangers… without courtesy codes; without quiet hours.

The paper thin walls are a veil to my jealousy. Nobody would ever know unless I told them, and I have to tell you…

Kids these days don’t know what they have until it’s gone.

Sincerely,

Gone

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