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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Night Sounds

By Johna Ferguson

Have you ever noticed how at night when all is supposedly quiet in the building that certain sounds wake you? Yes, the all too familiar wailing of a siren, either a police car or a fire engine to be followed usually by the screaming aid car hurrying to help someone in dire need.

After these pass by my co-op building, but usually only once a week, I find I can immediately fall back asleep since they don’t concern me.

Then there are the usual caterwauling sounds of the neighborhood cats in heat. A good toss of an old shoe out he window usually sends them on to safer grounds.

Few birds sing at night and we don’t have many owls in the city to wake us with their hooting. Occasionally a neighbor’s dog will bark, probably at people passing on the sidewalk, but that is also a seldom occurrence since there are no yards around the building in which we all live; the dogs live inside at night.

Most people go to bed to get a good night’s sleep. Granted lots read themselves to sleep, but once asleep they don’t want to be disturbed.

But within the last couple of weeks, my husband and I have been awakened. At first we thought someone had left a newborn baby on the steps outside our building, but then later we felt it was an old person in pain.

There is a condo building next to ours, but there are no windows right across from our bedroom windows. However I know how noises carry when it’s quiet so I decided to investigate.

There is a handicapped parking spot right down the walkway from our bedroom windows and I noticed that aid workers parked there. I decided they must be caring night and day for someone in the next building.

Well, that idea was shot down when I found there were no handicapped or old or infirm people living in that building, yet we were awakened by the noise a couple times a week.

I asked our co-op manager, a young man, if he knew of the cause. He lives on the floor below us but one unit to the left. He said he had also been awakened by the noise, but he had figured out what it was and decided to ignore it because he said he could easily fall back to sleep.

He’s not like us old folks who sometimes when awakened can’t get back into slumberland.

When I inquired about it, he said with a wide grin that the young man that lives right below us and next to the manager has a new girl friend he often entertains.

Enough said, but I must admit I don’t quite know now what to do. Sometimes it goes on for what seems like eternity and all I can think of is, poor girl. I asked some close friends for suggestions and I got a myriad of answers from them; bang on the floor with a broom stick handle or confront the young man face to face.

Actually I have to admit my husband and I almost enjoy being entertained vicariously but I really must confront the problem. If you have any suggestions please let me know a face saving solution.

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Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


You have to say, if I hear that noise again, I am going to call the police.


I don't know if this is happening to you in China or Seattle and I can only imagine the difference in how you would approach people in those two diverse places.

Wouldn't it make a gigantic difference in the way you told Chinese people they were making love in a fashion that was waking up the whole building and telling the same thing to a couple in Seattle?

I can see the Chinese couple being embarrassed and "Losing face" as they say, and the Seattle duo telling you to mind your own GD business.

So, who would you have to tell? East or West?

Can you handle it with humor, perhaps? Something like "At our advanced ages, we can't get too excited vicariously, or we just might have heart attacks! Could you tone it down a bit, or else muffle the sounds with a pillow over your mouth?"

I don't know what that last comment was but I was thinking how funny it would be to put a tape recorder outside the window to capture those sounds. When they quit, then go over by the offender's window and play it back! Might not work, but might! Would be funny, anyway.

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