True horror story of living near an unhinged couple in Paris- Part 3


The following morning Leila and her high heels left the apartment, but her fiancé was standing by the communal staircase window in the afternoon.  I wished to avoid him, but he came down to block my way and started boasting about his high educational degrees in his homeland.   Oh, really?  Then how did he find himself living in Leila's room with no day jobs?  I would accept such a situation as appropriate for artists or musicians.  The man continued, 'The French should be more grateful that despite their past mistakes, a great asset like him has chosen France.'  Now, whatever the past may have been between France and his homeland, this man was an immigrant seeking a life in France, and he ought to be grateful that France had let him in.  I never forget that I chose to come here without having received any invitation.  I will never forget the joy and gratitude I felt the day a visa was granted by the French government.

To my surprise, the fiancé returned to Leila's place and started the washing machine.  One time was expected, but he repeated.  Now that was unusual in men.  I apologise for stereotyping, but aren't men generally pigs who hate washing?  I found it difficult to concentrate on my homework under the tedious washing machine noise, but I was dismayed furthermore when I heard Leila's high heels come home.  Their washing machine continued until midnight, but I could not call the police.  Something made me hesitate.  I was only glad that it stopped and fell asleep immediately.

A banging noise on the ceiling woke me up.  It was 03:00 am.  The banging was repeated like 20 times.  I froze.  Then as if that had not been enough, the man started banging a piece of furniture on his floor/my ceiling.  It had to be the man because a woman could not repeatedly lift a piece of furniture to strike it down on the floor.  My only thought was 'why?' I knew Leila was a dark character, but would a man, no matter how trash he was, go along with women's petty game of harassing me?  How suited they were to each other.  And they would be sick enough to get their revenge if I called the police on them. 

Our denial of imminent danger often compromises our survival instincts.  A pair of amoral people lived above my studio, yet I chose to be blind to the risk.  Maybe I was too scared to confront the truth and yet foolishly refused to acknowledge the defeat by moving out.  As much as it sounds like 'Victims bashing', I feel victims, unless children, may be partially responsible for the tragedies, judging from my behaviour.

But in my defence, their washing machine's noise had weakened my judgement.  Ordinary people only wash once or every other day, but Leila and her fiancé ran their washing machine virtually non-stop.  I started to drop things, for my hands were shaking.  How could the two upstairs not be affected by the noise?  I was about to find out.

mirror reflects one's soul
One afternoon I saw Leila's fiancé again by the window on the staircase, but he did not notice me.  He was frantically banging the window grid with something.  The rhythm reminded me of the other night when he repeatedly hit his floor/my ceiling.  There was no usual smirk on his face, and I sensed his mind was blank.  It dawned on me that while Leila's action stemmed from her desire to hurt others, he may have been driven by another thing.  I was never a cigarette smoker nor drank much, but I had read about the other substances that affected our nerves.  Up to this point, I had never thought of the possibility of the two neighbours from Hell being involved in crimes.  But what did that still have to do with this frequent use of washing machines? 

So I decided to google two words, 'washing machine' and the other word.  By pure luck, a YouTube video featuring Mr Bill Maher whom I had been following, discussed the medical use of some potent plants.  I saw the word spelt with 'W' on the monitor next to Mr Maher.  That must be the second word I needed.  I googled and then was blown away by all the videos that came up.  I knew the man was not into clean clothes, but how could Leila, seemingly a wise woman, support such a man?  Then I remembered one conversation we had before she turned anti-social on me.

I remembered Leila hobbling down the stairs a few days after I moved in.  She looked weak, so I stopped to inquire.  She was in agony because of chronic pain in her knees.  'Have you tried acupuncture?  It works,' I said as any Asian would.  Leila, however, had already tried it but could not keep up with the expensive fees.  Everything is expensive in Paris.  She looked so miserable when we parted that I was surprised to see her bouncing around in her high heels shortly afterwards.  She was in a very jolly mood too.  That's nice, and I did not think much of it until now. 

Back to the video of Mr Bill Maher.  He had back pain and relied on medically prescribed Marijuana.  I never thought I would write this word in my prudish blog, but I see the plant differently now.  First, Mr Bill Maher had already impressed me with his fair and accurate observations coated with British-style satire and American enthusiasm (best of the two worlds.)  Now that I have learned that it was medically helpful and prescribed through the proper channels in some states in the United States, why blame the plant for the immorality of the shady dealers who used to sell them illegally?  

In fact, had it been legalised in France, Leila would have been able to afford it, and she may not have been vulnerable to her fiancé or what he could provide her with.  And had it not been for that shady fiancé, I could have contacted the police to complain about Leila's anti-social behaviour without fearing retaliation.  Was moving the only solution for my plight?