Thursday, June 04, 2009

Aladdin Din

I got almost no sleep at all Tuesday night, while SFC McG and I were stranded elsewhere (I'll have more on that tomorrow, I hope).

So last night, I was REALLY looking forward to getting to bed early, and then sleeping in a bit. I just love to sleep late, but hardly ever get the chance to do so Down Range.

After discovering 30-some emails that needed attending to upon our return 'home', I was none the less able to get to bed about 2200 last night, which is early for me these days. It looked as though I'd be able to get at least eight wonderful hours of rack time.


But then, at 0400, my neighbor's alarm went off.

These days he has an AM clock radio set to a local Iraqi station, it would seem, and so very loud and Iraqi music -- or at least a male voice caterwauling over the accompaniment of a couple of stringed instruments -- awakened me much earlier than I'd planned.

Mostly, of late, when his alarm goes off, he slaps the snooze button to turn it off. Repeatedly.

But at least there's a respite from the noise.

This morning was different, however.

The 'music' blared on and on.

I put the pillow over my head, but to no avail. I dutifully created a gratitude list as I lay there, and so the time was not a complete loss. Gratitude *always* helps, even if only a little (like this morning).

I even prayed for the SOB.

But Aladdin (or whatever his name was), just kept going and going, Energizer-Bunny-like.

Perhaps it might have been different had it been a Bach Partita or Beethoven Piano Trio or even Patsy Cline. (Does this make me a cultural imperialist, I wonder?) But there's something about the tonality of the stuff assaulting my sensibilities that was driving me bonkers.

I said the Serenity Prayer eleventy-seven times. (My friends who go to lots of AA and Al-Anon and other 12-step program meetings are always recommending this.) I believe it helped.

At least up to 0500, as the cacophony of vituperation continued unrelentlessly, but I could no longer take it.

I threw on a shirt, and huffed my way over there. It turns out that his door was unlocked, so I just let myself in. His roommate was not there (he works the night shift), the light was on, and he was curled up on his bed (no sheets on the bed, I noticed), with his head not six inches from the speaker pulsating with that noise!

Now, I ask you, how is this possible?

Why is life so capricious and cruel? SFC McG can fall asleep anywhere, and sleep through just about everthing. This kid can remain blissfully unaware of his surroundings, seemingly even through chaos at the threshold of pain decibel level.

I seem unable to make it through the night without waking up multiple times, if I even get to sleep at all (see tomorrow's post).

These guys can worship Hypnos and Nyx while in Bedlam.

Life is patently unfair!

I knew that calling out to the kid would do no good, seeing as even my big mouth was no match for what was being broadcast, so I slammed my fist onto the mattress next to his head. He woke up groggily, and with the same dazed look on his face that I usually have on mine.

I gestured to him to turn off the damn radio, which he did.

Back home in my CHU, looking forward to three more hours of sleep, I heard his alarm go off about every five minutes -- but as white noise rather than vocalises -- for the next 90 minutes, until someone came and pounded on his door telling him in rather 'flowery' language to get up.

So much for my good night's sleep!

But I made a lot of wonderful gratitude lists in the meantime.

I have a lot to be grateful for!

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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