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Neighbor Theories: The Dude Upstairs

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Do you ever sit and wonder about the people who live near you, but you never actually see or interact with? Maybe you do this so much that you create neat little made-up lives for them in your head. Maybe you don’t do this at all, in which case you are probably more sane than I am. Congratulations. But I have to tell you about this guy.

The facts: He’s lived in the upstairs-from-us apartment for over 10 years now. When we moved in, he saw the Uhaul outside and came down to introduce himself (his name is Mike; there’s also a teenager in the third apartment in our three-family named Mike–it would actually be confusing if we all interacted). He warned us that, when he’s loud, it’s usually in one particular room (and he pointed to the windows so we knew) and told us that if it was ever too loud or bothering us, just to let him know. He doesn’t have a car. (This isn’t an urban area. I don’t think there’s public transportation. I have no idea how he gets places.)

Every once in a while, I look out the front room’s windows and see him step out or in. Other than that, I think he’s pretty much always home. I think this because his music is pretty much always on. It’s not particularly loud or annoying most of the time–just a steady bass that never changes and is quiet enough that if I turn on a fan it drowns out the noise. I’m not entirely sure why the beat never changes, though. Does he just listen to the same song…all the time?

Let me explain this music. From inside my apartment, all I hear is a bass. But if I go outside on a nice day when he’s got his windows open, I can hear a little more. It’s carnival music. Creepy carnival music that plays constantly.

And that’s what got me wondering. Here are my thoughts on Upstairs Mike.

The dude inherited some money, and by “some” I mean “shitloads of,” about 11 years ago. He cleaned up affairs wherever he was and invested in Apple and Starbucks. Ever since then, he’s made enough money off his investments to pay his rent and utilities every month and he’s got plenty of spare spending money. He doesn’t have a car because he never needs to go anywhere that he can’t walk (or possibly bike, I have not confirmed this yet) to. He doesn’t have a job (because if he did, he’d leave the house).

He spends his spare money on LSD. He buys enough LSD that he can also sell LSD, which explains the occasional sound of feet going up the stairs, voices, then feet going down the stairs shortly after. His guests never seem to stick around long. He spends his time dropping acid and listening to his music.

So eventually I thought, I thought, what music might sound similar to creepy carnival music? And my theory came to being. Video game music. I bet, if heard from an open window a floor below where it’s playing, the two sound pretty similar. But this guy doesn’t sit around and play videogames. Oh, no.

Your typical Twilight Princess Goron (via

Have you ever played the Legend of Zelda games? Specifically, Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess or any other game that involves a Goron temple? You run around the temple killing the bad guys and there isn’t really music. It’s pretty quiet, with a few creepy noises to let you know you’re in an evil place. But every once in a while, you’ll end up in a room where there’s a Goron just sitting there. Suddenly, the normal temple sound effects change to the Goron town’s background music. This Goron inevitably gives Link a valuable piece of advice or weaponry or lots of rupees.

Upstairs Mike puts his music on, drops acid, and sits there like one of the Gorons in the temple, doing nothing except existing in the room that he’s in. When someone comes in, he gives them something of value.

Over time, he has done so much LSD that he is entirely convinced that he is a Goron giving legendary heroes instruments that are vital to their quest to save Hyrule.

What the guy upstairs thinks is happening every time someone shows up. (Via

The best part about my theory? From everything we know, it actually seems completely plausible.


About Rachael

Hi. I'm Rachael. I realized one day that, even though I read a lot of books, I often have a hard time remembering them later on. I guess that happens when there's so much to try to remember! So I started The 50 Book Project, with the intention to read and blog about 50 new (to me) books in 2014. I read a lot of fantasy, but I'm trying to branch out and experience new stuff. Any questions? Suggestions? Let me know! Comment, or email me at

9 responses »

  1. wow. I would be completely wary of goron-mike. He sounds like an evil clown to me.

    • He doesn’t look anything like a clown, though. More like a hippie. I’m guessing the music just didn’t carry well through the window and down a floor and it’s actually more goron-like. Or, as Emeee points out, perhaps pokemon-gym-like.

  2. Bahahahahahaha, that’s great! Reminds me of this video:

    • Emeee. I trusted you. You gave me a link and I sat and watched, continuing to think that something entertaining would happen, trusting that you would not send me a link to ten minutes of doing nothing. And he did nothing for ten minutes, and you know what? Now I trust you even more. Because that is EXACTLY what this guy has going on, except in real life.

      • Maybe he’s secretly a gym leader, hence the incessant music, and you’re living just one floor away from the real-life version of Pokemon.

  3. Hahahah – I totally do this with my neighbors, especially the loud ones. I lived under musicians (I use that term loosely) for two apartments in a row, and they both had girlfriends who liked to walk around the apartment in clunky heeled shoes. I called them Clumpy and Stompy. I don’t know why I’m telling you this other than the fact that I’m loopy from lack of sleep.

    I like the LSD theory. It fits.

    • Hah! At Mike’s last place, I called the girlfriend upstairs The Elephant because she’d always wear clunky shoes like that. And wander around at, like, 4am. What the fuck, people! Yeah, you don’t live WITH other people, but you’re close enough that you should take their well-being into consideration before you start stomping around in clogs at ass o’clock.

  4. Pingback: I GOT A BLOG AWARD! « Oh, Rachael.

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