sleepless in the subdivision

I went to sleep tonight around 9:45 p.m. By 11:00 I had awakened twice out of disturbing dreams. In my groggy state I began to wonder what was going on. Then I realized: my next door neighbor is at it again—making noise in his family room—loud, penetrating noise with a steady, insistent beat that doesn’t quit and has no mitigating rhythms. I call this barroom noise, calculated to arouse strong feelings and provoke anger-energy responses in those who have managed to retain their hearing. I have tried heavy-duty ear plugs and white noise. Nothing blocks out the banging noise that pulls the covers off my heart and sends my adrenalin into waves of fight or flight response. I want to smash this guy’s windows…send a rocket through his house. I would call the police, but we are in an unincorporated subdivision. And that means, we are on our own. I reason with myself, pray, imagine going over there and dealing with him. I don’t. The music (I believe that is what it is called) has produced responses in me that have made me fearful of my own anger. Not exactly in keeping with a pacifist view.

It is 12:45 a.m. and I am now fully awake. The 4 cars parked in this guy’s driveway are still there, but the noise has stopped. I don’t know what they are doing over there now. Perhaps they are “cooling off” with a drug of choice and a case or two of beer. I am cooling off too—with a mild sedative and a few sips of port that I know will kick the sedation up a notch. I am resentful at having had my sacred sleep time broken into. I am not feeling forgiving at the moment and the tension makes me want to fall in a heap and cry in protest.  I write instead.

This neighbor fellow has no idea what he has done to our night. He has taken his piece of pie right out of the middle! I do not want to confront him, but I do not know how to speak to him effectively either, for I never see him around his house. He is a bit of a phantom. Don’t know his name. He moved in next door about 6 month after us. These are the times I wish I had a big, courageous, burley husband who would take care of this man-to-man. I do not. It’s just us little old ladies and our 2 little cats, living day-to-day, knowing there really is so little time to waste in this life. Two months ago we lost Bettina, as well as another dear friend of 25 years, 1 year ago I lost my sister, 1-1/2  years ago we lost our cousin, 3 years ago we lost another good friend. All of these to cancer—the thief in the night that I call the old black hag.

Tonight my partner, Big Dawg, went to bed with a heavy heart because another of her cousins in dying of cancer. She lies in bed with this heavy heart. Our neighbor does his noise thing with his buddies. The walls of his house and the walls of our house keep us separate, but the sounds of his travail permeate our bedrooms. Ours does not permeate his. There is an irony here, but I wish it were not so. It is now 2:05 a.m. as I head up to bed. God bless us all.

6 Responses to “sleepless in the subdivision”

  1. 1 judy
    April 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Indeed an irony here.
    You have tipped that bad night on it’s head.
    Now you can rest.
    Cats are fed & watered and I’m off to work.
    All’s quiet.

  2. 3 Anne
    April 27, 2010 at 10:50 am

    When our peace is disturbed no matter if in the night or day…it’s more than jarring to our central nervous system, especially to those of us with highly sensitive ones. Unfortunately we can’t choose our neighbors. And keep in mind,(not to rain on your future plans) even if you get that RV you could end up staying overnight in an RV park with noisy neighbors. What to do with the anger is a good question.
    Story: when we lived on Echo Ave and I was doing massage some young guys moved into the house across the street. They must have had a band and played loud music day and night (fortunately our BR was in the back of the house but my massage studio was at the front). One day just prior to a client coming, the guy must have been practicing his drums to a recording – all blasting so loud it seemed the ground shook. Concerned for the peace of the upcoming massage I braved it to go over in order to appeal to this young man to turn down the volumn. I knocked and rang the bell several times, but it was so loud he didn’t hear me. Client arrived; I was going to offer to reschedule, and then miraculously the noise stopped. Guess he was done practicing.
    But, I wonder if there might some way for you to go next door sometime with an olive branch in hand and appeal to his good side, explaining your health concerns and need for sleep. Anger could put him on the defensive and most likely escalate the problem. Just a thought for my sleep-deprived little bird friend.

    Also, sorry to hear about BD’s cousin. Boo, hiss, to that old HAG!

  3. 5 Meg
    April 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Dear One,
    I sincerely feel your pain. When I am awakened after just a modicum of sleep, I find myself unable to reconnect with the “sleep fairy”. So I start praying, then I wander the house, make a cup of tea, read my email, pay bills, start cleaning something, etc. But your situation would make my blood boil and that would completely put me over the top. I commend you for your “patience”. The olive branch is a good and creative idea. Keep us informed. Olive branches like olive oil are healthy alternatives to the choices at hand. (Note to myself: try some “port” in the “storm” next time.)

    Surely,I’ve made some light of the issue; but seriously I do feel your distress. Your last paragraph says it all. And most certainly I am sad that the old hag has returned to bring grief to your hearts.

    • 6 Naomi
      April 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      The olive branch has been set under my neighbor’s windshield wiper on his car. Apparently he had the day off today. I don’t. Anyway, we will see what comes next. I don’t think he realizes how deafening that electronic drumbeat is or how penetrating. I could wait for someone else to complain, but no one has. Most folks don’t like to get into hassles. Me too.

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April 2010

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