For months, actually ever since I moved into my apartment, I’ve been conscious of the thin walls in my building. There are six units here and we are all up in each other’s business. I share a wall in the bedroom with my next door neighbor. Judging from the amount of things I can hear coming from his apartment, lord knows what he can hear coming from mine. I try to keep it fairly quiet. For privacy and respect. I don’t really listen to music in the bedroom and spend most of my time in the other room anyway. Other times, I’m too busy to care how loud it gets in here. Oh!
A young couple and their 3 year old son used to live next door. The kid would sing constantly and run from one end of the apartment to the other. This little shit was doing suicides day and night. Possibly training for a marathon. Julian was hyperactive and a nightmare to live next to. They moved away on my birthday and it was the best present anyone could ask for. For the most part, the guy that lives there now is quiet. Not enough to complain about here.
One thing I’m conscious of is my alarm clock. I use an iPhone as an alarm clock and she goes to bed with me. The alarm’s actual volume is not that loud, but after a long night of restless, intermittent sleep, when that thing goes off in the morning it sounds like shoes in a dryer on a runway at Newark International. I’m trying to subtly imply that it’s loud. Especially to someone disoriented from a dream they were just having about benevolent (and helpful!) robots. I’m pretty sure the guy next door goes to work later than me and I always feel slightly bad that I might be waking him up. I wasn’t quite sure he was actually hearing the alarm in the morning… And at the end of the day, I don’t really care. A man’s gotta wake up to make a living. But at least I had a little guilt about it?
Yesterday morning, my alarm went off as usual. I rolled over, blindly searching for my phone to tap the snooze button, but something wasn’t right. It was 6:30 am. My alarm wasn’t going off. Did I just dream my alarm went off? Did a dream alarm just wake me up? If I start having alarm dreams I’m really screwed. Don’t make me call the Dream Police. They live inside of my head.
No dream alarms. It was the guy next door. He apparently uses an iPhone for his alarm as well. And he’s using the exact same alarm tone as me. Well now I know if he can hear mine. I swear I thought my alarm, the one that is in bed with me, was vibrating and playing that dreadful melody I hear every morning. Heard it as clear as monday morning. Apparently it’s time to reconsider what passes for quiet.
Pretty sure we sleep right next to each other. I imagine his pillow is propped right up against the opposite side of the wall. I bet there’s less than six inches of sheet rock between our heads. I’m moving my bed. And I’m changing my alarm tone. I don’t feel comfortable not only being on this guy’s new schedule but sleeping next to a man separated by a decades old, six inch, mold-infested partition.