Someone downstairs is taking a shower, right now. I know they know that I shower at the same time every morning, this time, this moment right now, and I can’t understand why they would choose to shower when they know that I’m usually showering right this instant.

I bet it’s the girl who lives directly beneath me, in Apt #1. I think her name is Dana. Sometimes I steal her Pottery Barn catalogs on my way out to work in the morning, but I always return them to the pile of discarded junk mail in the evening so that she never knows it was gone. That way everyone wins.

She doesn’t seem like the Pottery Barn type, really. I saw her once as she was taking her laundry out of the dryer. She’s got long black hair, ratted and dry, and it hangs down over her shoulders like a fern that hasn’t been watered in weeks. She uses Tide, with bleach, and washes her lights and darks together. Anyone who shops at Pottery Barn knows that you shouldn’t co-mingle the lights and darks.

Dana drives a black Jeep Wrangler, to match her hair I’ve often wondered. It’s a hard top, fairly well maintained with a green sticker on the bumper that says, “END RACISM”. She once left a handwritten note on the windshield of my car asking me to park closer to the wall because she was having trouble fitting the Jeep in the driveway. It said something like, “It would help others” if I did this or that or whatever, I forget, but I think she meant it would just help her. That’s all she cared about.

Right now she is taking a shower when she knows that I should be showering. Everyone in the building knows that two people can’t possibly shower at the same time; there just isn’t enough hot water. It would help me if she wouldn’t shower when I’m supposed to be showering. I’m going to write a note.

Sometimes she listens to Pearl Jam in the middle of the day on the weekends. I’ve never complained to the landlord because, well, I’m better than that. More importantly, I would never shower at a time when she usually showers. I may, however, key her Jeep.