April 04, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in our new place. The old apartment is becoming a distant memory. Sleeping late is not coming naturally yet. I'm still on the schedule kept by the children of our previous upstairs neighbours. I wake up one minute before they do, expecting to hear the two year old falling down and crying or the four year old running and then jumping into his parents' bed. I'm conditioned in the same way I used to be when the alarm clock woke me every morning for my office job. One minute before the alarm clock would go off, I would wake up expecting it to ring.

There's nothing to wake me now except the expectation of something that is no longer going to happen, so hopefully, I'll make the appropriate adjustments and learn to sleep late once again.

With that said, I feel more relaxed than I have since before we moved into the "nightmare apartment". We only lived there 10 months but they were 10 long months, the last five of which were particularly hard.

Every day at 1 p.m., our downstairs neighbour would come home and start shouting at his wife or into his cell phone. Every morning, I could hear the two of them starting there day off on the wrong foot, always angry words and doors slamming. And when they had company, it used to sound like they were visiting in our living room, they were so loud. They also had an obnoxious habit of watching the same homemade video at the same time every day, loud enough that I could hear their recorded family members talking in a language that sounded like Greek. And they hated us. They were always banging on their ceiling because we walked too loudly. I'm still walking toe-heel, toe-heel to keep my footsteps quiet.

Every night, our first next door neighbour would have people over to watch her very sophisticated HD television with those speakers that can be placed anywhere but hers were placed against our shared wall. When her and her friends cranked that thing up, it sounded like they were watching TV in our apartment. And I would complain like the nerd that I am. But hey, we weren't living in a college dorm. It was an apartment building with rules about not make loud noises after 11 p.m. She ended up moving back to Chicago because she lost her job. She also ended up being the least of our problems in the end. She ended up spending a lot of time at her boyfriend's house. The noises that used to eminate from her place, disappeared.

Every day, our other next door neighbour would smoke copious amounts of pot - enough to stink up the entrance way to our apartment. Because of the stink, every night at 1 a.m., he would turn on his air conditioner which made sleeping in our former bedroom like sitting on the wing of an airplane. It woke me up every time it came on. I don't think I've had a decent night's sleep in months and months and months.

Now I'm sleeping deeply. I just have to work on sleeping past 7 a.m.

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