Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 90 – I can hear the lives of my neighbors


Most of us consider our neighbors weird, lame, loud, assholes and so on, but mine are all those things together and so much more. I have been meaning to tell you their stories through my walls for a long time now, but it never seemed the right moment; well, the moment has come, so let their lives be revealed.

The least dangerous of them I can only hear during the summer. He is married and they have a sixteen years old daughter. He’s wall is next to my bedroom’s and since I don’t spend that much time there, I miss a lot from their life. Still, during the summer he and his daughter have this weird ritual: the girl starts doing homework around 4 pm and ever five minutes you can hear him yell at her saying that she is stupid and that if she doesn’t know math she is going to remain stupid for the rest of her life. The first two summers I spent in this house, I could only hear his voice, yelling at her; this summer seems to be a little different, because whenever I hear him raising his voice at her, she starts yelling so loudly that sometimes I think my wall will fall off and I will be exposed like a spectator in the spotlight.

Then we have the couple next to my daughter’s bedroom. To get a better picture, their kitchen is wall in wall with Ephia’s bedroom and their bedroom is wall in wall with our kitchen. Sometimes when I go to sleep really late I can hear loud sex sounds coming from Ephia’s bedroom. The first time this happened, I remained still in the hallway for a while, thinking that I should really stop wasting nights and get some more sleep; I thought my brain is hearing sex noises because it’s too tired. But, when the noise intensified as I got closer to the door, I began to understand that my neighbors have a twisted pleasure of fucking in the kitchen. Oh well, everyone is entitled to their own preferences, but it still is funny. They are the ones who never bother me and except for the funny screaming during intercourse, they are pretty normal and quiet.

Now comes the monster neighbors as I have baptized them. The family living upstairs have two teenage daughters. We have been warned about them but I never knew it could get so worse. They fight a lot, all of them or him with the girls, her and him, the girls with her; it’s a huge mess. The way they fight is so expressive that I could relate and entire conversation like they had been right next to me. Then there is the fear that my ceiling will fall over our heads and this is when they play not fight. They all curse each other like there’s no tomorrow and the girls are even worse than their father when they do it. Last summer he used to beat the crap out of them every single day which was really hard to witness and not be able to do anything about it. His wife is really short and he is enormously tall so they look really good together. Now one of the daughters plays piano and she is getting better and better every day which is very good for my nerves. Last but not least, one of the wife’s weird habits is to vacuum three times a day, every day and if it’s Sunday, well, then it’s at least five times that day. Really nice people to live under.

The last one, but the one we love the most it’s our downstairs neighbor. He never wears normal footwear, he always wears slippers. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or if it’s December, you will spot him riding his bike or his scooter, wearing a big trench coat and slippers. Another thing would be his plants. He has this small garden in front of his apartment and he grows pumpkins and weed (yes, weed). He is very meticulous about them and I see him almost every evening watering them carefully. He started growing these plants under our smiling eyes for at least four months now and after seeing them grow and expand, I have gotten really used to them. Now my neighbor is on vacation and he instructed a guy to show up every day and water his weed and pumpkins, but the bastard didn’t show and the plants are all yellow and sad looking. I was wondering, should I be a good neighbor and just throw some water on them?

Anyway, these are my lovely neighbors and some I would tie up and leave in the desert to rot, but I do try to be a good neighbor so I just smile and go on with my day praying that the loud fighting or sexing won’t wake my daughter up today either.


About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.


By Ela Vasilescu
Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu