In my childhood home, it paid to have excellent hearing, not that it would necessarily stop a blow, but it would at least lessen the shock. And so, I cultivated mine. Now I’m stuck with it.
Prospective tenants do not see the drawbacks of the duplex I live in now. They see, as I did, the light flooding in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. They see the large main bedroom. They cannot see how insubstantial the floors are. They don’t stick around long enough to learn that every footfall above registers like an earthquake below.
So here I am with my vigilant hearing learning much more than I want to know about other tenants’, shall we say, intimate lives.
The 3 year-old next door has bedtime issues, by which I mean he is punishing his mother for bringing home a baby sister, by screaming at an octave only dogs and I can hear, between 10 p.m. and 11. The fellow downstairs goes to work at 5 a.m., a few hours after the tenant upstairs comes home from a night shift.
I have tried floral remedies, urgent pleas in pjs, music called Delta Sleep, which promised to change my brainwaves, ear plugs, running the air filter non-stop and pharmaceuticals. To little avail. But, wouldn’t you know, there’s an app for that.
The app in question cost peanuts at iTunes and is called “White Noise”. (Not “White Noise Ambience”) It gives a choice of 52 different sounds including white, blue, red, pink, grey, and purple noise, as well some rather mundane sounds such as a shower, floor fan, vacuum cleaner, dryer, projector and restaurant. It has nature sounds like ocean waves, a stream, a sandstorm, a waterfall, and my favourite, heavy rain.
I downloaded the app onto my iPhone and I set it going on my bedside table when I’m ready to go to sleep. So far, “heavy rain” seems to send me off to sleep. Rain on the window pane has always been one of my favourite sounds. I find it very soothing, especially since the app doesn’t come with the threat of flooding.
See what I mean? Hyper-vigilant.