A few days ago, I went to my BFF Jo’s house (the one who has an axe murderer living in her back yard) and although I heard something as I approached, it wasn’t until I got into her house that all I could hear was the sound of frogs. It was honestly so overwhelming that I thought it couldn’t be real.
“Is that a sound effects CD, or what?”
“It’s the frogs and crickets. This is swamp land – they’re everywhere.”
“How do you sleep at night?!”
“Don’t even hear it anymore.”
At first, I was shocked to hear her say that, but then I thought about all of the stuff I’ve learned to sleep through and/or zone out during the day…
When I worked at a local theatre, we were just down the street from a fire hall, so there were constant sirens. At least a few times a day, a fire truck (or two) would zip by our front door, screamingly loud. But I heard them so often that my brain learned to ignore them. Probably not great in an actual emergency situation, but hey, you do what you gotta do. There were many times I’d be on the phone with patrons and they would say, “What is THAT? Is there an emergency over there or something?” and I’d have to stop and think about what they were referring to.
Speaking of sirens…
The first time I visited the UK, I stayed with two friends in London, who lived right next to a police station. And it’s London, a huge city, so there never seemed to be a lull in police activity. The first night I was there, I didn’t sleep a wink, and then my jet lag got me up at 5am. Every night after that, I slept through the night, totally peaceful.
I lived about half a block north of one of the busiest roads in Glasgow. Surprisingly, I didn’t hear much traffic noise. What I heard – all the time – was the noise of people leaving the pub in the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes they’d fight, sometimes they’d be lost and yelling in the street trying to determine which flat on the block belonged to them/their friend/some imaginary person. Sometimes they’d be having drunken singalongs. Either way, in a close like that, the noise travels upward to the point that you might as well have no windows. But I got used to it. Eventually.
I also learned to sleep through my next door neighbour’s bizarre middle-of-the-night conversations. My next door neighbour was a puzzle to me. I only ever saw her twice, from behind, as she locked her flat and hurried down the stairs. And yes, I was totally watching her through my peephole because I am a creep. But she puzzled me mostly because of her schedule. I never saw her during the day, but at night, I would hear her, talking RIDICULOUSLY loud, with a friend or a group of friends. They wouldn’t even arrive at her flat until two or three in the morning, and they would talk until somewhere between 7-9am. Not sex (though I had other neighbours who had loud sex ALL THE TIME). Just talking. Who does that?!
Some nights, she would keep me up all night.
Some nights, I learned to deal with it.
But I never stopped wondering what her deal was.
Dogs – wait…Boston Terriers
Boston Terriers. A special breed of extra-snore-y, extra-farty dogs. Some nights I have no idea how I sleep through the sound of both of them snoring. They keep each other awake sometimes. It’s a constant battle, but I manage it. (Because I love them.)
I’ve also managed to sleep through some hilarious (see: disgusting) mishaps, like when Lucy had silent diarrhea all over my bedroom floors in the middle of the night. It wasn’t until she jumped back onto my bed, very close to my face, that the sound and smell woke me.
So, what has all of this taught me?
I might be able to sleep through/zone out almost anything, given enough time to get used to it.
What’s the weirdest and/or most annoying thing you’ve slept through?