It's 4:53 in the morning. I'm sitting on the toilet in my daughter's Manhattan studio apartment clicking on my computer. I've come into "the other room" because I can't sleep and I'm tired of lying in bed trying not to move while thoughts whirl like gazpacho in a blender. I would be thrilled to have stayed in the cozy bed reading my book or writing down some of these ideas, but I didn't want to turn on the light and disturb Lexi. She deserves her sleep; she has to work in the morning. I was sleeping, cozy on my side of the pillow barrier with my daughter's familiar sleep breathing serenading me from her side. But something woke me. I believe it was the upstairs neighbor moving furniture around. Furniture moving seems to be his hobby. His movements, like furtive hamster cage skittering overhead, usually begin at 6:00 am sharp.
I have decided he must work from home and compartmentalizes his day by moving furniture: 6 am, put up the Murphy bed or other sleeping platform and replace it with breakfast table and chair; 8 am, rearrange furniture to create office space; noon, turn space back into dining area; 2ish, reconfigure area into office; between 4 and 5, reopen the restaurant; around 7 create entertainment area; 9 pm, shove all moveable furniture to the edges of the space so there is room to pull down the Murphy bed or sleeping platform; rest, repeat, repeat, repeat. As annoying as this scratching, scraping, moving, shuffling seems, once identified, the sounds fade. Not as completely as the regular chiming of the Coo-coo Clock, but almost. Some Einstein theorized this phenomenon: Repetitive Noise+Pattern+Time=White Noise. The neighbor's activities are Gray.
My daughter lives in one of three soldiers in a row, each divided into studio apartments. Sitting here in the bathroom trying not to make noise, I wonder: I can't be the only one? In the studio apartments above and around me, are others hold up in bathrooms trying not to make too much noise? Or burrowed under covers with flashlights so companions can sleep? Have some of them created miniature "safe" spaces in their tiny studios with black out curtains and noise mufflers-perhaps under the sink...or in a closet? Is this apartment living?
I have an idea: The tub takes up quite a bit of space. Why not remove it entirely. Lexi could get used to sponge baths, couldn't she? In exchange for more room. The owner wouldn't fuss, would she? Or, if we have to leave the tub, what about adding a waterproof desk area on one end of the space-with a prefab plastic chair and a pull-down desk? Surely in this city of millions of people living in millions of similar cubicles, someone has created one?
Please tell me: Over time Gray Noise fade to White, doesn't it?
How much time?