Strata Living

Dear Resident of no. 16



Although we’ve never met in the eighteen months since I moved here, I feel that not only do I know you, I know you intimately. Late at night, or in the early hours of the morning, I am able to track, somewhat reluctantly, your very audible movements. I share, rather unwillingly, a range of your activities with you as you wander from the bathroom, to the bedroom, to the lounge room. And have you, I wonder, thought of WD40 for your windows? I would be happy to give you mine if this would subdue some of your nocturnal operational activities.


The fluid sounds from your bathroom have particular resonance, as they tinkle unhindered through hollow, aqueous conduits. Or perhaps, more accurately, stream down like Niagara Falls surging through a narrow spout. That’s how I deduced that you have a particular appendage suggestive of the male of the species. You know, I have just read that apartments in Switzerland have by-laws regulating males to sit, rather than stand, when performing functional rituals at a late hour. I know this is not Switzerland. We live in the legendary land of the tough where ‘the boys don’t cry,’ and a dead-eye dick aim is a long bow from an apple on a Swiss hero’s head.


And I do understand that every Tarzan needs his Jane. But in keeping with evolutionary progress, you and your Jane don’t swing in a hammock slung between the tops of trees. Rather, you plump down on a somewhat rickety bed, which creaks loud complaints in time with the rhythmic stresses percussing its unstable frame. And your Jane is a vocal spirit, who soars off into operatic shrieks of ecstasy. Allow me to congratulate you on an admirable application of skills and equipment.


I don’t know an easy solution for this. Perhaps I should withdraw the offer of the WD40, and suggest you keep your windows closed, to muffle the crescendo of climactic trills.


I have one last request. As you lumber around your space, would it be possible to tread more lightly on your floors which, in their natural, uncarpeted splendour adjoin the flimsy, porous substance of my bedroom ceiling? So could you try not to drop whatever it is you drop on the floor? And to refrain from dragging furniture, or dead bodies or whatever it is that you drag around, at such uninviting hours?


Yours of the bathroom and bedroom below in


Unit No. 8

ã 2004

Cleo Lynch

About cleolynch

Retired. Worked in NSW Corrections = published memoir C areering into Corrections - inaugural manager of the first pre-release community Transitional Centre (for women) in NSW. Now do voluntary work - State Library - editorial panel of Volunteers' Voices magazine. Invited to be speaker on my book, writing, and other activities.
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