So, I’m on the brink of having to move again. Not just because stable employment eludes me, but because my neighbour is irrational and uncompromising. This weekend was another such barrage. Music till 3:30am. I’ll admit I’d had a bottle of wine, determined once again to give alcoholism another go. Suddenly the music went off and I smiled, then passed out.

At 5:25am I was woken from my drunk slumber. The walls sounded like they would come through. I struggled to regain some semblance of consciousness, if not sobriety. The music was loud, the banging sounded like a jumble of noise, the dog barking worried. I sat up and listened. Three peels of laughter, or a shriek, or a dog whine? I could not decipher. Then silence. Nothing. At about 6:15am the dog howled. In a year and a half the dog has only howled once: when it lost it’s puppy friend.

I called the police. I hate what he is doing to my life, but I can not sit in silence if someone is hurt. Is it her? Maybe him? You can never tell these days. They call round for a safety check at 8:30 am. Predictably, the door goes unanswered. They have been trying to serve him with a harassment notice since December. They know now that I am truthful when I say they will struggle to get him to answer the door. He’s not in they told me. Until one time he had left his keys in the door: the police took them and asked the other neighbour to keep them. He suddenly appeared at the door.

Anyway, I could not get back to sleep, half drunk, half hungover, half what the hell is going on!? I must have fallen asleep about tennish. I was woken by his TV at two pm. I called the police to let them know they were both alive, and by the sound of it, happy. I took a sleeping tablet. I felt so ill, I just needed the switch to flick off. I was awoken again at 12:15am. By this time, I am half mad with despair. How long can a person live like this? I missed my dads birthday. Shit.

About 2pm I woke up. Wrote a letter to hand in my notice to my landlady. Arranged to see some cheaper properties in slightly worse areas, though not so isolated as the one I had come from previously. Cancelled my last months rent payment so I could afford to move. Asked my friends to store my things if need be. No one can be expected to live like this and hold down a job or look for work.

The next day. The next damn day! The police ring and tell me they have served the harassment notice. They finally took my advice and went to his work. The council emailed me two hours later to tell me they will install noise monitoring equipment. After 14 months or more of seeking support! And then, the art gallery I volunteer with posts a job advert that I can fulfill with my eyes closed. What do I do now?

The neighbour punished me, of course, he would. One song keeps cropping up after significant instances: The Killers: Smile Like You Mean It. What does this mean? What on earth do I inspire in him to earn that song?

What do I do? Stay? Hope springs eternal, the required support has arrived. Or go? Cut my losses and slide back into a less well off area? Lord knows trying to improve my circumstances with my housing hasn’t worked. And then I realise, now the police and council are involved, I might be able to move back into social housing. What would you do?

Sincerely, what would you do?