Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Snorer

There have been a number of rather significant changes around here of late, and not least among them has been the arrival of The Snorer.

He moved in last night (or rather, around 0300 this morning), to much fanfare -- or at least a *lot* of laughing and banging and music playing. This was not my idea of a good time, to be sure, but I restrained myself from 'introducing' myself to my new neighbors at that time.

I figured I might not make the best of first impressions.

Granted, we seem to be living in a world now wherein the excuse "Well, *they're* doing it!" seems to give license for all sorts of behavior hitherto regarded as, for lack of a better term, bad.

My friends who go to a lot of Al-Anon meetings have been trying to teach me that we don't have to accept unacceptable behavior. That seems like a pretty good notion. At least until it's time to put it into practice.

I'm afraid, though, that my idea of "not accepting unacceptable behavior" usually involves engaging in some unacceptable behavior on my part. I have a hunch that's not what they're talking about.

(For instance: I was once expecting an invitation to a wedding, and even went ahead and bought a plane ticket far enough in advance of it so that the ticket wasn't ghastly expensive. However, the invitation never came. Unacceptable behavior, in my book. So I just showed up, anyway. Univited. Wearing a cassock. And a big, black cape. I've been led to believe by my friends who go to Al-Anon that that might qualify as unacceptable behavior on my part....)

But I digress.

The Snorer, as it turns out, has a whopping case of sleep apnea, and snores at the threshold-of-pain decibel level, inches away from my head, right across the rather flimsy partition that divides my room from his and his roommate's in our shared CHU (Containerized Housing Unit = upscale dumpster). Because there's a wall between us (if by "wall" one means something resembling papier-mâché between ceiling and floor, but not as sturdy or as thick) it wouldn't appear as though we're essentially sleeping in the same bed, but the net effect is that we are. I don't know how his roommate can stand it.


The Snorer's snoring is not even rhythmic. Earplugs do not help. I can even hear him when I'm outside the CHU on my way to or from the latrine!

I feel as though I'm living in a cartoon, and that the wall will soon be undulating in concert with his arrhythmic snores. Or perhaps the wall will come tumbling down at any moment.

I was glad those guys stopped all the laughing and talking and video gaming, but when it was replaced by The Snore, it wasn't at all clear to me that the situation had gotten much better. I'd held off storming over there to demand that they quiet down, which they'd have probably done (and wound up doing, eventually, anyway). But I'm pretty sure The Snorer will not be able to change his nighttime nasalizations (how's that for a neologism?) on account of my umbrage and his septal deviation.

This should prove interesting over the months to come....

Blessings and peace to one and all on this Iraqi Election Day,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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