The Secret Lives of My Upstairs Neighbors

By Jaclyn Jermyn

They moved into the third floor apartment in July, bringing their tiny dog and an old library ladder with them. A young professional couple, both working in creative fields, both had gone to college in the midwest and were moving back after a marriage and some time spent living in Brooklyn. No one can afford Brooklyn anymore. They gave my roommate and I the old library ladder. They kept their dog even though, up until this point, our building had been advertised as “pet free.”

Things I know:

  • I know their names. I really only know this from seeing their mail sitting in the front hallway. This excludes the dog. I do know her name too but she doesn’t get mail.

  • They have an online-shopping problem. See previous explanation. Lots of J Crew boxes keep showing up. Who needs that much J Crew?

  • The husband uses one of those box services where they style you and ship you trendy clothes. Again, I saw their mail. Also, I think he’s kind of a fake because he was featured in Chicago Mag for being one of the most stylish people at Pitchfork and now it all feels like a ruse.

  • Their dog cries constantly and our walls are pretty thin. I'm also a dog person so I can usually put up with a lot.

  • I accidentally saw the wife naked one time. We both pretended it didn’t happen.

Things I don’t know:

  • I have no idea what the layout of their apartment is. They invited me to a cookout once and that would have been a great excuse to scope it out but I didn’t want to go hang out with a bunch of 30-year-olds so now I’ll probably never know. If anyone sees it before I do, please solve this mystery for me: do they or do they not have a washer and dryer in their kitchen? If so, I’m really jealous.

  • Where their bedroom is. See previous query. This is mostly out of curiosity because my roommate and I aren’t sure if it’s above my bedroom or hers and we want to know if the one time we unintentionally heard them having sex, if it was closet sex or not.

  • Why their goddamn dog cries all the time.

  • At this point, I really don’t know who they are as people but I’m also not quite sure if I care enough to find out. Plus, I’ve seen one of them naked so I’m pretty sure that means I can never talk to either of them again.

Maybe I only care because I've watched Rear Window one too many times.  I have these elaborate theories worked out in my head of who they could be but no Grace Kelly figure to test them out. Maybe they're undercover FBI informants and I'm not supposed to know too much. What would happen if I knew too much? And what is it about them that makes me what to know anything in the first place? What's going on a couple feet above my head at all times? And honestly, why won't their dog stop crying?