Thursday morning I awoke to a mysterious dripping sound, which I reported later, from work, to whoever was in charge of the building in the manager's absence. When I got home, I saw that he had helpfully placed a 5-gallon pail beneath the drip, which freed up the container I had originally put there so that I could use it under a second leak.
The paint on the wall developed an impressive blister as water welled up between it and the drywall, and worked its way downward alarmingly quickly. Luckily it burst itself before it got halfway to the floor, and the carpet sponged everything up very neatly.
I did speak to the actual building manager on my lunchbreak next day; she explained that they had had to open up the walls and take up the carpet. I was a little afraid of what I might find at home that evening, but it had not devolved into too sorry a state:
Between the noise, the bits of plaster all over, the gaping holes in the wall, the wintry industrial-grade breeze, the heap of furniture and other possessions tetrised into the living room, and the unrelated problem of ants everywhere, my apartment is really not a hospitable place at the moment.
On the other hand, the guy I reported the leak to in the first place noticed the ants "all over the kitchen counters" so they'll invite an exterminator to the party. I'll be glad to have that cleared up, though I'm not sure I believe it was as infested as that. I'm the one who squashes ants all day, after all, and I've never seen more than 5 on the counter at once, which I don't classify as "all over."
The silveriest lining is that the drone of the fan drowns out the guy upstairs, who acquired an electric guitar several months ago. While he demonstrates a complete lack of musical understanding (i.e. he thinks that the louder he amplifies it, the more it qualifies as music), I have to commend him for practicing constantly in an effort to perfect his technique. I've recreated a sample of his playing, and would be happy to provide a transcription if anybody is interested:
Back to the apartment invasion: I figured that they would probably also notice that the new "low-flow" toilet (which they recently installed as part of a building-wide conversion) runs 100% of the time, and would want to extend the invasion by another week or two to fix that. So, I finally took the 2 minutes necessary to glance into the tank and fix it myself, which on retrospect would have eliminated the annoying filling sound for the past few months, but also increased the amount of electric guitar audible in my suite. Life in this apartment is such a paradox.