I positioned my ear plugs, pulled down my eye mask and sighed contentedly as I snuggled into my pillow. What a great day! I had thoroughly enjoyed the day trip to Waiheke Island, sampling fine food and wine, but now I was tired and sure looking forward to some sleep.
I began regulating my breathing and coercing my mind into quiet. And that’s when I heard it. The asomatous* sound coming through the foam.
Ignore it, I told myself, go to sleep!
But I couldn’t. I ripped out the earplugs and tuned in. The sound permeated the paper thin walls. At first, it was just a dull hum of voices, indistinguishable and unintelligible. However, like a crescendo, soon the volume and ferver of their dialogue had reached far above the acceptable levels for 11:30pm. I could now make out an accent…German. There was music, glasses clinking, and food packaging rustling. Maybe there was a serious cabal^ taking place in the room next door?
The rituals that had preceded my efforts at sleep, were now completely redundant. I could barely stand to lie there listening to each item of foreign conversation. The booming, errant laughter was grating my last nerve and as 12am, 12:30am, and 1am rolled past, there was no respite from their noise.
When I could stand it no longer, driven by fremdschämen#, I jumped out of bed and pounded on the door.
“Hey!” I said, using my best teacher voice, “Can you please keep it down!? I’ve been trying to sleep for three hours now. It’s 1:30am and that’s enough!”
The absolute authority in my voice must have been crystal clear, as a meek, “Yes, sure. Sorry.” came as the reply.
Somewhat placated, I returned to bed. The opaque light glowed around the edges of the doorframe and I began the descent into merciful sleep.
Until 2:30am. When it started again.
I groaned into my pillow, thumping the bedcovers in frustration.
What the hell was wrong with these people? I fumed. I replaced my ear plugs and turned on my iPod. But I could still hear them, even through the two filters.
Finally at 3:45am, all fell silent and blissful sleep arrived. Not for long however, as I had an early bus to catch.
Now some might call it a blip on my moral compass, but when my alarm went off at 5am I made sure as hell, I created as much noise as possible whilst getting ready.
By Sarah ©2017
* asomatous (adjective) – having no material body
^cabal (noun)- a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles
# fremdschämen (verb) To feel ashamed about something someone else has done
Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – foreign, conversation; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #162, Words: absolute, precede, blip, cabal, paper, asomatous, hum, stand, above, item, opaque, fremdschämen