a night of slumber and shivers

Last night I received a rare treat and a real fright.

I hardly know which to make the lead. I’ll go with the treat first.

The Good News

My roommate neighbor, Mr. Loud TV Man, lowered the volume. Don’t get excited; I know I’m not. This happened once before when on a seemingly random day he’d toned the set down to a civil level. Still audible but not blasting. All the days that followed, it was back to the usual turn-it-up-folks-can’t-hear-it-in-India level.

The result was a comparatively peaceful night of slumber. I was able to retire at around 1 a.m.

AND without the sleeping drugs that I’d decided to take as I couldn’t face one more night of destroyed sleep on his TV.

A sizable improvement from the 3-to-5 a.m. bedtime hours I was “keeping” with the noise! And while I didn’t sleep entirely through the night, that the noise invasion was considerably reduced from the normal returned an earlier bedtime, improved slumber and an earlier “more civil” wakeup around 9 a.m. rather than 10:30-11:30.

A welcomed change it was especially because of my morning job interview!

Like I wrote, this “civilized TV volume for one night” happened once before so I’m in no way getting my hopes up! Yes, it’d be great if one of his immediate neighbors with whom he shares walls — pity the souls who do — would communicate the problem to their building manager. It’d do everyone within earshot a favor. Won’t hold my breath since it seems like a pretty young set of residents inclined to tolerate noise and disinclined to quote-unquote do what’s right.

The Bad News

Last night I’m in my bedroom, which is directly across from Mr. Loud TV Man’s room. In addition to the TV being on most of the time, his apartment is always dark, save for the eerie glow from the screen. In fact, I’ve never seen a light on in his place.

I’m in my bedroom, my windows open, his door open with screen door closed. I’m on my knees cutting the price tags off the bottom of my (Goodwill) curtains.

I stand. Within the shadows of his apartment, I see a hulky fairly tall male figure walking my direction.

He’s not coming at me, rather crossing his room in my direction.

The sight of the man heretofore unseen and known only by his dark shadowy apartment and blaring TV freaks me out. My heart skips 15 beats. It’s frightening. I can’t say whether I’m frightened by him or the visual of a hulky man in the dark approaching. Perhaps both. It’s an image I won’t forget and an experience/encounter with a neighbor that I’ve never had in decades of neighbors / roommates.

I quickly go about cutting the tag off the other curtain before drawing closed the blinds and drape directly across from his. I’m creeped out and fearful.

I close my night with a hot bath, red wine and quiet music in an effort to relax.

Again, I’m grateful that the neighbor happens to have his TV volume down — yes, so that I can sleep but also shut off from the encounter. (And yes, I’m near certain he saw me through his screen door through my opened window and backlit room.)

The Closing News

I’ll say only one more thing before closing. Last night/this morning I had a profound intense dream, a disturbing dream {to put it unduly conservatively}. I’m certain the two “events” are connected. I have work to do before I feel safe in this apartment.


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