Sunday, May 04, 2008

Music Appreciation

I have the dubious fortune of constantly living next to singers. In high school, our next door neighbor's son started studying opera, and would practice in the basement. I'd be sitting watching Cheers and then I'd hear this cascading baritone from next door. Later at UBC, I lived in Gage Towers and the apartment across the hall (being dormitories apartments, the space above the door was open) had another student of opera. People would be hanging out with me in my apartment and we'd hear this rich voice rocking some Mozart. Once the person I was hanging out with bellowed, "shut the fuck up" across the hall before I managed to let them know that it was a real person making the noise.

On a tangent, I kind of miss Gage Towers. They were three, communist-style, seventeen-story apartment blocks grouped together around a 1-story commons building. High rise living and the associated voyeurism is an important part of the Vancouver lifestyle and depending on what room you got, you could find yourself either with a multi-million dollar view straight up the Georgia Strait and sunsets all year or staring at another one of the blocks across the no-man's land of the roof of commons, which was invariably littered with beach balls, frisbees, various alcohol-related accessories, someone's pants, definitely a bra and a number of other items that seemed to have no place there, but were likely tossed out of windows.

(Tossed out of window story one: Once when leaving the building I almost stepped on a raw, skinless, boneless chicken breast, all pink and weird on the sidewalk. Hard to say how far it fell and why before making its touchdown on the walkway.

Tossed out of window story two: late December, deep into the exam period, I'm sitting at my desk at 4am taking a break from my Caribbean Lit paper by writing my Milton paper. I'm staring out into the darkness and a pumpkin falls past my window. I think I'm going insane, then reconsider and look out onto the pavement. Smashed pumpkin. In the morning, no trace remains.)

When signing up for housing, you could either request a good view or to room with your buddies. My buddies and I got the sixth floor, looking out at the other two buildings. Despite the bad view, the one and only time I've seen the Northern Lights has been from that balcony.

Anyway, at the end of the year, people got a little more exhausted and raucous and the individual parties that you could watch happening in apartments sort of turned into a yell-back-and-forth party amid the towers. I may have been involved in borrowing my cheese-hating roommate Yen's New Kids On The Block Greatest Hits album to blast it with maximum volume across the gulf.

All this is to say: my next door neighbor is this squirmy little dude who is very nice to us but sings, with much gusto, Disney-esque tunes and soul sometimes in the afternoon. Guy better watch out or I will start hitting him back with Yma Sumac.

1 comment:

Tara Avery said...

I remember that pumpkin.

And that is still the only time I've seen the Northern Lights, too.

Oh, and I totally stalk your blog sometimes and never leave comments!