Hello Dear Readers,
I have had an awesome time celebrating my birthday this week and an equally awesome time writing MyZeroBDayBlog this past two weeks. And now I find myself sleepless. It's 3AM. Night after night, I am now up till three or four in the morning (last night it was six), which is fun for me - I'm a night owl - but does make for a late start to the day, assuming I can sleep in. And so without further ado, I give you the week from hell that preceded my first official episode of hypomania. God only knows how people with full blown manic episodes manage to remain sane.
This entry, written as a letter to a friend, is scarce on the actual details of what I did to cope, but I will tell you that during my one-hour, 16-year-old-style temper tantrum, I turned my speakers up full blast and set them face down on the floor. I also turned on every machine I had, from bathroom fan to dishwasher, washer, dryer; I had no coffee grinder or I might have used that as well. It WAS fun, in a totally out of control way.
So off I go, paperback and sleepy-time meds in hand. Hope you enjoy tonight's entry. ~yawns~
9 December — scratch that — 10 December 2008
Subject: Poke me! My goose is cooked.
Hey, Geoff, got your poke the other day on Face Book. I woulda poked back, but with the mood I’ve been in, it might have felt more like an elbow to the ribs. Dude, I officially lost it today.
My 30-something downstairs neighbor has been making noise like a sixteen year old. You know, nonstop movies sex movies sex . . . . sex; pizza. Good for him, I say, have a nice time. That was day one. Day three had me imagining they’d come up for air soon, or at least back to consciousness regarding the presence of other people in the world, and okay, I can deal with that. Today was day 6 or 7. I think. I’ve lost count. Not sleeping will do that. The last time I knocked (AND rang the doorbell) — at 1 am — they hid like children while I stood there thinking, “Do not freakin' make me act like a mom, cuz I can do it.” Still no answer, but the music stopped. Think they heard me? If only.
All the up, up, up late nights and early mornings has me so wired that there is no down. I’m an insomniac, and now I have new triggers for that insomnia. Normally I could rearrange the furniture or organize the cupboards until I’m sleepy, but I live in an apartment. I miss having a house. I miss being where I can indulge my needs without a thought for anyone but myself; acting sixteen rocks. I love cranking my music. I love movies so loud that it feels like the theater. I love sex — morning time, nighttime, loud time, what’s not to love? I don’t even mind having to listen to it now; good for him I say at 7 am, we should all be so lucky. I don’t mind, that is, until I haven’t gotten sleep for days because of the music movies music movies, talking talking talking (my neighbor has a lovely deep voice; bummer for me) that goes into the night before the morning sex. Jesus, Geoff, I do not want to tell someone to shut the hell up when he’s having a good time. None of us get enough of those times. So here I am. Sleepless.
I figured it would pass, the noise, my sleeplessness. I figured this guy was an adult and we’d get to chat soon and I could say, “Dude, you are so on my shit list!” Then we’d laugh, perhaps nervously, and both make a few concessions. After all, he works at home, too. I figured we’d be all the better for it. Shit, I even figured that I’d get to call in the marker when “my sailor” got back to town (what’s good for the goose and all that), but that happy fantasy failed to materialize. Anyway, I figured that I would see my neighbor soon enough and then I’d ask about the car appearing in my parking spot the same time his company appeared. (I mean just ask, right?) No point in a pissing contest over parking, or noise, or . . . so I waited. I did not figure the wait would be a week and so now, today, I’m too pissed to process let alone talk.
Ever take the Dark Side quiz on Face Book? My result was “Quiet,” meaning that I handle my shit on my own; no one knows I have a dark side because I don’t expect them to deal with it for the most part. Fast forward to today when I let out my own version of a-week-in-the-life-of-a-sixteen-year-old — condensed down to an hour. The cacophony was truly impressive. It expressed all I had to say.
Friends have told me I need to quit expecting that others will necessarily behave, you know, “like an adult.” Apparently I quit expecting that today. Afterward, my neighbor left a letter on my doorstep, the upshot of which meant he’d be contacting his lawyer. (!) It shook me for a minute — Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the mule! — but I decided not to go there. I sealed the letter, unread, in an envelope and began writing to you. (Here’s where I skip the laundry list running through my head of all the things I do to ensure I make as little unnecessary noise as possible. But just let me say that if I stopped, I’m pretty damn sure he’d notice.)
I know. We all create our own reality. Good thing because I am sooo ready to be done with this one. I am out of patience, out of money, and out of good health, none of which has anything to do with my downstairs neighbor, per se; so even though his behavior adversely impacts me, I’ve been taking it like a good little soldier. It’s what I do. Ask anyone who has been spayed/neutered, fed, clothed, housed, counseled, chauffeured, tutored, doctored, or generally adopted and cared for by me. Yesterday, when I said to my auntie (who is in need of doctoring again) that my career doesn’t even make the list anymore, she said with surprise, “What career?”
Exactly. So the universe conspires to bring me people and events that reflect how I show respect and responsiveness to others more than I do to myself; more importantly, that this gets me nowhere.
The universe has also recently conspired to bring me things that could advance my career as a writer, but I’ve no time to respond to these opportunities; I am busy caring for and/or coping with those who assume that, because I do this, I have nothing better to do. Is my downstairs neighbor one of these people? Feels like it today. Without a doubt, I need to sleep if I am to recover my health, and I need to work if I am ever to be published. To do these things, I need to live in an environment that is responsive to my needs. This includes being forgiven when my music is loud and I’ve failed to notice that I’m no longer alone in the building, and being pardoned when I finally give the new housemate –and his anger management issues — the boot. It happens. I have silently offered forgiveness for these same omissions of consideration. At least I did until today.
Well, Scarlet, tomorrow is another day, though of course for me it’s already here; it’s after one. I wonder if my neighbor can hear my old chair creaking, as I sit here at my computer, as well as I can hear his television, which rests quietly for now, below me.
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