Chain Smoker’s Victim’s Diary – or – my apt has become uninhabitable because a new neighbor is pumping unbelievable amounts of cig smoke into it through the heat vents

FRI. SEPT. 10; 5:54PM — Aaaand the weekend smoking has officially begun. Will I be able to hunt it down and put a stop to it? I’m not particularly confident at this point, but it won’t stop me from trying.

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Update: Denise — the apartment manager — is full of shit and this has now officially gotten interesting

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Update: everybody liking this post is fucking weird. I approve.

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— [there is an actual update from late Monday at the bottom of the page] —

THE CIGARETTE JOURNALS

Wed., July 21

10:01PM

  • Can’t breathe • the bastard is smoking right now

Thurs., July 22

12:52AM

  • Smoking. That fucker is going to smoke all night again, isn’t he? I gotta move.

1:34PM

  • CALLED DENISE: 📲 Left voicemail for Denise. Did not tell her what it was about but told her I had a real problem that would not be hard for her to solve. No urgency in my voice, but hoped it would be enough.
    • (Note in hindsight: this had only been going on a few days, and so the “pattern” that would develop and become much, much worse was not as set in. It is what it is. I asked for a call back to solve a problem. I did not put a screaming siren on it. But then again, I’m a woman and we suck at this.)
      • I also hoped to nip it in the bud so it didn’t get worse. I had no idea how bad it could get. Going over a year without a kitchen sink did not begin to compare with how bad just this weekend has been. (25-07-21 11:26)

Fri., July 23

7:28AM

  • Woke to my nose burning. Like, actual pain. That is literally what woke me up. My house is unbearably filled with that awful, oppressive smell, and my bedroom is uninhabitable. I mean that in the most literal way that exists. There’s no way anyone could be in there for more than a few minutes and be able to stand it. I have no doubt that their apartment doesn’t stink too badly, because the smell is all in my apartment. I have never had an experience even close to this awful since I’ve lived here. Nothing. Not even close.

4:03PM

  • CALLED DENISE 📲 Left voicemail for Denise.

Sat., July 24

1:19AM

  • OMFG That motherfucker is smoking AGAIN in the middle of the night and making my house, and especially my BEDROOM, uninhabitable.
  • Waking up because I cannot breathe is not a thing that can continue. I am an early-to-bed, early-to-rise girl. And I am not used to being awakened by a fucked up version of waking up because my house is on fire, except it’s not and there’s nothing to put out. Like, at least when my house has been on fire there’s an escape and someone I can call in that situation. There’s no 911 for this shit.
    • (Yes, twice. I’ve woken up twice to my bedroom filled with smoke because our house was on fire. It sucks, and although it’s very different in kind — and in remedy — the shock of waking up gasping for breath through smoke turns out to be surprisingly similar.)

1:24AM

  • 📲 CALLED DENISE I just left another message for Denise/Apt manager. Doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of the night. I don’t gaf. I am so sick of this and want out of my apartment. I can’t take this. I love my place and until this week I have never, ever felt this way, but this is so incredibly awful that I cannot even express it. I can’t do this.

Sat., July 24

8:30AM — 9:15AM

  • Overwhelmed with cigarette smoke, blood pressure high, MISERABLE. Just absolutely fucking miserable.

1:32

  • Tommy came by and did this melodramatic movement like he had been knocked over when he walked through the door. “What the hell? You been smoking like a chimney in here? I thought you quit?” If Tommy can smell it like that, anyone can, because his olfactory receptors are as burned out as they come. (At this point I didn’t need anyone to assure me that it was unbearable, but his extreme reaction really drove it home at that moment. I swear that whoever is over there has smoked almost a pack today.
    • Turns out Tommy had literally sat in his parking place an extra minute to finish a cigarette, too, but the smell in my apartment still knocked him over. And that’s just in the entryway. My bedroom is exponentially worse than anywhere else.

5:09PM

  • Been miserable all day. He’s [?] just going to chain smoke all weekend, apparently.

9:24PM

  • THE SMELL IS SO OVERWHELMINGLY INTOLERABLE THAT I HONESTLY DON’T THINK I CAN MANAGE TO SURVIVE IT… but I have no choice. None. NONE. I don’t care if it sounds ridiculous: it’s not. IT IS NOT. This has turned into hell. My apartment feels like a torture chamber. The secondhand smoke has pushed my blood pressure up so high that I’ve had to take extra blood pressure pills, I’ve had to use my albuterol inhaler twice today — for the first time in months — and the stench is unbearable… and literally inescapable.

10:13PM

  • I just got out of the shower where I went to escape the smell, and I just burst into tears, because the smell is so awful. The worst it’s been. HOW CAN I EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING INTO THAT ROOM WHERE IT’S SO MUCH WORSE??!

10:47PM

  • This asshole just lit another one. This asshole just Will. Not. Stop. Every new cigarette piles on the smell anew, and is cumulatively worse. But ‘smell’ is not even close to the right word. It’s not wrong, it’s just not expansive enough a word. Not even close. My God. 😭 Dude, put it out. Just fucking STOP.

11:17PM

  • It’s like being poisoned. Ahhhhh… not like being poisoned. That’s exactly what it is. It is being poisoned. And it’s hell. I cannot live here anymore, and I don’t even know how I’ll survive this night.

11:58PM

  • Another one. As soon as I almost start to get a ray of hope that maybe it will slow down. That maybe I can maybe have half a chance of entering my own bedroom in 45 minutes, or an hour. The slightest hope that I’ll be able to go into my bedroom and get a few hours sleep this morning. (I would normally be in bed by 10. Usually earlier. Because I am truly uncool.)
    • If they went to bed and didn’t smoke another it would be awful, but there are levels of awful, and just going into the bathroom right now is a pretty incredible experience. Like going into a really stinky Port-a-Potty, except much more noxious. The bedroom is, I mean, it’s not really possible. Like, it’s actually, literally, truly not. It’s not. End of story. Whoever is over there smoking, please just go to sleep now. I just want to go to bed. I want my apartment back. I just want peace. Please.

Sun., July 25

12:48AM

  • The last thing I want to do is to keep doing this, but that motherfucker keeps lighting more cigarettes, I’m stuck enduring it, and this is the only outlet I’ve got. What I wish more than anything is that this wouldn’t be happening. Runner-up is that there was a way to document the extreme extent of the overwhelming oppression of this unbelievable degree of cigarette shit that has taken over and completely warped my living space and my life. But this is all I’ve got. I feel so helpless. I’m so miserable. I want to flee. No, I don’t. I just want to be able to live in my house peacefully. Nothing complicated. I want my space. I want to breathe. I want to sleep. If my neighbor was blaring their radio or having an unusually loud party I could just put in earplugs and look forward to the time when it would be over, but there’s no earplug-equivalent for my house being overwhelmed with cigarette smell and I now know there is no end to it. Unlike loud music or loud voices, there’s no let up. This person will never stop, and I’ve plunged into the strangest well of hopelessness, because I never could have imagined that the inescapability of cigarettes could be so desperately, endlessly awful.

1:45AM

  • OMG that motherfucker is literally smoking AGAIN. The stupid bathroom is so impossible to breathe in that I had to hold a t-shirt over my face just to pee, and God only knows when the bedroom — the worst place — will be inhabitable again. The whole apartment has just become a choking machine. (I can’t even call it my apartment at this point. It hasn’t been mine for days now.)
    • What the hell? I’m trying to think of any way to minimize the smell, but I’ve got my fan blowing full blast facing out in the bedroom and that’s a joke and it’s hopeless. Also, calling this a smell is an insult to smells.
  • I just glanced in the mirror when I washed my hands and my eyes are so bloodshot I look stoned. I mean that. Completely stoned. (Without the benefit of actually being high. Awesomeness.) God, it’s like I’m choking and my nose and eyes are burning so badly that I want to tear my eyes out and rip my nose off my face. This is the worst it has been. But again, it’s cumulative. Just getting worse and worse and worse. Bad, building on bad, building on bad. Please, God, go to bed and don’t smoke any more tonight. PLEASE.

2:13AM

  • The motherfucker just lit another one. I shit you not.

2:25AM

  • Literally the definition of chain smoking. Unquestionably another. Since it’s like the motherfucker is smoking them right in my face I know every time another one is lit. For what it’s worth, this is the shortest period between smokes so far, at least when I’ve been awake. (Which, sadly, has been way too much this last week. I’m so exhausted I hardly know my own name. Haven’t wanted and needed sleep so much since I can remember, but it’s hard to sleep when you can’t breathe, and even harder to sleep when the thing keeping you from sleeping keeps ratcheting up.)
    • Calling this a ‘thing’ so wrongly separates it from the unknown human selfishly inflicting this shit on me, and maybe inflicting it my neighbors, too. (Although probably to a much lesser extent, considering how much is being pumped into my apartment.) Either way, this is not some random torture; not some act of God. Instead, some thoughtless asshole is doing this. Again and again. At all hours. Because they’re an awful person who doesn’t give a shit about anyone.

2:53AM

  • Third time I’ve been just about to go try to brave the room and lay down — [I’m so fucking tired] — when whoever is doing this lights another one. I realize it sounds impossible.
    • Maybe at this point I’m just imagining it, right? I only wish you could be here to smell it, feel it, experience it. It’s unmistakable. As unmistakable as it is unavoidable. God I’m tired. So, so tired. (Which of course just makes everything worse.) The inability to breathe while also trying to not breathe through my nose because of the smoking keeps me awake and makes me tired, but being so incredibly tired makes the inability to breathe makes the oppressive smoke-infused everything unbelievably worse.

~•~

(technically, the DAY of)

Sunday, July 25

1:21PM

  • AND… the cigarette chimney IS AWAKE. Yay.

8:13PM

  • He probably went out so there was a small break, but not small enough. Awful all over again.

10:39PM

  • Because it’s getting late and my room has to be made uninhabitable for the entire time it’s dark out, the motherfucker has begun the chain smoking in earnest. I truly cannot stand this anymore. I’m more miserable in my apartment than I have ever been.
    • I want to escape so badly. I want to run but there’s nowhere to run to.

11:40PM

  • It’s been a really bad night, but no, I haven’t noted every single fucking cigarette like I did last night, although the pattern is the same and if this motherfucker continues like last night I will be as miserable as last night, but I swear on all things holy that I will not have another night like this. I will not. End of story. No fucking way. It’s the cigarette smoke or me. I seriously doubt that even the asshole pumping my apartment with irritant and carcinogens could withstand this. Like, no one could. Even chain smokers have limits. If he was enduring the actual effects of it, he would stop. But I won’t stay here and endure another night like this.
  • THIS IS MY APARTMENT, AND IT WILL BE MY APARTMENT AGAIN, OR I’M LEAVING.
  • For good measure I’m calling my doctor first thing in the morning and making sure he faxes over a detailed record of all the incredibly legitimate and urgent medical reasons that there’s no way this is something that can continue. You know, just in case. Because literally, medically, it is not something that can continue.

Mon., July 26

12:08

  • I expected to stop. I thought I would, but I guess I can’t, because it’s going to be another torture chamber. Please, God, make it stop. I can’t do this.

2:01AM

  • This motherfucker is still lighting them — just lit another– and morning can’t come fast enough. It’s way past my bedtime… like every night recently, but that only makes it worse.

I’m so tired. So, so, tired. Deep down exhausted.

3:22AM

  • Yes, I signed off, but OMG is it bad right now. There simply not words to describe how much I want my apartment back. I am such a documenter, and this is so extreme — like, literally, they’re smoking this instant, adding to hours and hours of smoking — and it’s being pumped through my vents like a hotbox — and I am beyond miserable. Beyond knowing I can’t live like this. Beyond being able to take it anymore. I just wish there was some way to document it so no one had to take my word for it, but there’s no record button that can capture this hell. The level of selfishness and thoughtlessness will never cease to blow my mind, though.

3:59AM

  • My God, it’s bad. He must just think to himself: “One more cigarette” over and over again for a few hours. Not that I’ve never been there, but walk the fuck outside. Don’t make your issues our issues.

🥱

Seriously, fuck this person I’ve never seen. I have the best neighbors, but this new asshole doesn’t fit.

Or move out of our non-smoking building. I dgaf which.

He can fuck right off.


Goodnight. Wish me luck.


Update: Mon., July 26

Of course I CALLED DENISE 📲 again today, but when I hadn’t heard back by 4:00PM I decided to try to enlist some help. I suck at asking for help, but I did today, and it wasn’t as hard as I always think it will be. Someone with more heft than me called and left their own message, just repeating what I’ve been saying about the cigarette smoke. And almost magically, Denise got their message. (I’m sure she just happened to check her voicemail for the first time since last Thursday moments after they called.)

My phone rang less than two minutes after after they hung up. Denise was friendly and responsive. As always.

I mean, once Denise actually responds she is super responsive. It’s just all those days she ignores you that can be a little problematic.

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