We all operated under an unspoken rule. If someone was throwing a party, or talking too loudly late at night when you were trying to sleep, you worked through it and let them party on, because one day very soon the roles would be reversed and you would be that asshole. This worked nicely. Many a time in college I had to get to bed early because of an exam the next day, and if anyone threw a party next door to me, I learned to sleep through the sounds of heavy bass and keg stands as if it were a lullaby.
I could sleep through most noise from then on. Until now. I have been trying to do this thing called "well rested-ness" where I actually get to bed early and get up early and get a full night's sleep. It's been a constant battle, but slowly I've been able to reset my clock. I went to bed around midnight one night (which sadly is early for me) when it started. A bass sound so loud, it was shaking my apartment. So loud, that it sounded as if I was now living in Mordor when everything was exploding. Then a bright light like the eye of Sauron somehow managed to make my curtains obsolete. There was a party somewhere. And it was bangin'.
I hopped out of bed, now wide awake, and drew closer to my windows in order to determine the source of the noise and blinding light. At first I thought it was my neighbor and was slightly annoyed. This kind of noise at Midnight on a Wednesday? Absurd. And rude. But also hilarious and ballsy. But as I opened my window, it no longer sounded like the noise was coming from my building. In fact, I didn't have to wonder anymore because some movement caught my eye. The little antique shop across the street was RAGING. Young tiny people were poring in and out of the once innocent shop, smoking cigarettes and staring at their phones while dancing to the music, probably texting more people to join in on the party.
I was amused at the pure audacity of this party. The quiet little antique shop was probably in shock. OR having the time of its life. Also, who in the world got a large speaker and a strobe light so bright it blinds the entire block into that antique shop? The whole thing was a beacon just waiting for the police to shut it down.
I was amused for the first hour of the noise. Let them party on as I used to in college. I felt a sense of pride.
Then on hour two, I thought, okay. OKAY. These damn kids and their damn loud music are messing with my "well rested-ness." I have a job to go to tomorrow you slackers! I finally understood how the bald Principal in Back to the Future felt. A movie that none of these kids probably knew. This made me feel worse.
Then I remembered the vow I made not so long ago to never be the kind of person who would call in a noise complaint on a bunch of kids having some fun or talking loudly, just so I could get some sleep. When I was that age, I didn't mean any harm. I just wanted to bump that bass and yell things. I watch the party from afar, in my pajamas and wearing my retainers. I was not on their level. But dammit I was not going to be the one to ruin their level.
True to my vow, I never called a noise complaint on those kids. But someone else did cause the police finally showed up and shut that party down REAL quick.
This is Part Two of Part One, which you can read here: On My Level.