It’s Labour day weekend here, which is my favorite summer holiday. It’s this lovely pre-cursor to autumn–which is my favorite season. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few days to catch my breath. Yesterday, my husband and I made sloths look like a a spastic sugar-laced playground bully.
It’s nice to rest. It’s nice to just sprawl out and let your mind go blank. Let the world go quiet, which has been an easier feat since we’ve set up the air mattress in the living room. All major amenities are within arms reach. Last night we feasted, and drank until when considerably intoxicated, one just had to roll off the couch on to the mattress. You know you are getting old when the most fun you’ll ever have is falling asleep.
Really, what is the most fun, is not being woken up in the middle of the night.
I’ve mentioned the neighbours before, but my god, MY GOD! It’s not their fault that the structure of the townhouses lead to these kinds of trouble. Now, I’m not in the business of telling people how to live their lives. Stay up all night, drink, carouse, invite your friends, fill your boots, just don’t do it right over my head. And this is a version of what I said in a little note I tucked in their mail box, this is what I said when I knocked on the door the morning after a loud party. This is also what I said in my pink bathrobe at 1am, when I rang their doorbell. I don’t want to ruin your life, but I don’t want you to ruin mine.
Weeks were going by, and the edges of our sanity are getting awfully blurry. We weren’t able to fall asleep when it was quiet because we would just be waiting for the noise to start. Alternatively, we would fall asleep and most certainly be woken up by crashing, panting, tapping, rolling and yelling. No matter what, sleep was being lost, and the effect was bleeding into our waking life. The night before my wallet disappeared I made another pink robed appearance at their front door. This time there was no politeness; it was spitting, sputtering, venomous. My shaking hands reaching out t, as if I was choking an invisible midget. “What are you even doing in there?”
And that was a legitimate question, as Ben and I had a solid month to make a plethora of guesses. The sixteen year old at the door, pops her hand on her hip defensively, “Well, I’ve got my siblings here, and they’re retarded“. I’m not sure how to take that…’like that movie was so retarded’ retarded, or are you being literal and non-PC? I don’t even have a response, I just start sobbing, and repeating “I’m so tired”, “I’m so tired”. The girl is mildly apologetic, and her friend’s pop up behind the partially opened door. Her mates explain that they are no making noise, they are all sitting quietly on the sofa. So this means that my husband and I have mutual schizophrenia, and share this hallucinations the same way twins are a made-up language. “Well, I’m not standing here because I am sleeping soundly” I spew. Her indignation rises and she goes off on me, that she and her 56 year old grandmother, and all these retarded children were going to be kicked out and homeless because of our complaining. “Oh, and she’s a pregnant sixteen year old’, did I mention that? “Are you happy? We’re going to be homeless, and I’m pregnant, where am I going to go?” Well, from the sounds of it, you’d have a good crack at a reality television program.
We had not yet made a former complaint, we were trying to take care of it ourselves. I don’t say this, I just say that ‘it’s not my fault’, I just want to sleep, I’m not asking for the moon here. The following night, the noise was as worse as ever; our complaints meant nothing, their landlord’s threats meant nothing. I cannot express how truly desperate Ben and I felt, desperate and despondent, as if we would never sleep again. Anxiety was at a fever pitch, I was weak with helplessness. Wandering through the house at three in the morning, I kind of fumbled in the hallway, and dropped to my knees. I was so tired, so unnerved, that I wondered if this was what dying felt like. And from the anxiety stemmed white hot anger, blood red rage. This my friends, was a bit of an emotional danger-zone.
Having lost my wallet, being kept from sleep, and knowing the I’d have to wake up early to drive to another city for a specialist appointment/buying trip made me extremely tense. As an added bonus, the doctor said one of the most dreaded phrases ever: “I don’t like the look of that, not one bit”. There’s nothing quite like having potentially cancerous material dug out of your leg on virtually no sleep, and then searching for extremely particular pieces of furniture. It’s not my holiday of choice, frankly I’d prefer an Alaskan Cruise. Anyhow, on the drive home, (my husband took a personal day to accompany me, bless him), Ben declared that he was going to set up the air mattress in the living room. And so he did, and there we’ve stayed. We might sleep in the living room forever if it means we sleep soundly, and wake up smiling.