Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Year of Gratitude: Day Three Hundred Fifty-five

Day 355 – Ear Plugs and White Noise

Staying with my friend Erik has been a blessing and a joy.  He has provided a home for me without allowing me to pay for anything – nothing toward rent, utilities, or sometimes even the food – and I have felt very much “at home,” indeed.  Although street parking has been challenging at times, it hasn’t been too bad.  The real difficulty has been the very loud and shockingly disrespectful neighbors.

Across the landing are a young gay couple and their female roommate; they play their music at excruciatingly loud volumes, and it’s always the same playlist – Beyoncé most often – with their front door open and little dogs barking.  Their front door is six feet from Erik’s and, as I try to sleep in the living room, 12 feet from my pillow.  The window panes in the door are thin, providing no sound insulation whatsoever.  I have tried asking, pleading, and even insisting on turning it down, but it never works.  They simply cannot comprehend that others do not live exactly as they do, keep exactly the same schedule, or could possibly be bothered by their choices in music, hours, or jokes and other drunken behavior.

I am grateful that these incidents have not been quite as frequent as when I was staying with Erik in 2010, but I recently discovered a lovely combination of sleep aids to combat the onslaught of neighborly obnoxiousness: ear plugs and white noise.

I have a space heater that makes a fair amount of noise.  The sound isn’t so loud as to wake the dead, but just enough to cover the majority of sound coming from across the front landing.  When you add ear plugs, the thump of the bass notes from their music is minimized to allow for sleep (although I can still hear my alarm, which is rather odd).  On those nights when they simply HAD to party until 2:30 AM, I was still able to sleep enough to be coherent in my new job the next day.  Had I not thought to turn on the space heater’s fan – without heat – I don’t know what condition I’d be in now.  I’m just so grateful to have this white noise generator with a heating coil and my “Hear-O’s.”  YAY for sleep!

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