View From My Lockdown

April 6, 2020

It was at 11:30 last night that I started to lose my mind.

 

That was day three of the non-stop music and screaming from the apartment below us.  

 

I just couldn’t believe what was happening. Friday night was annoying, but manageable. Saturday night at 1 a.m. things started to get to me, but I remained calm. Then on Sunday night I really started to question my sanity. I spent an hour holding my phone out the window, recording what I was hearing. I would save it as evidence, and then record again. 

 

Ok fine, evidence might be a little dramatic. I wasn’t going to be submitting my findings to the court. It was more for me. A thin reed on which to hang my sanity. 

 

Maybe it was the fact that it was the same song over and over and over again. Perhaps a little variety would make it all more bearable. But no. The repetitive bass was acting like water torture. It never once altered. Every half an hour or so it would go away and for a few, glorious seconds, and it would seem the nightmare was over. Then a loud scream. Then a crazy laugh. Then the song would start once more. 

 

Knock on their door. That’s what I should have done. Except, wait, we’re living through a pandemic and are supposed to be social distancing! That would be good for my rage. To catch the covid by lodging a noise complaint to the twenty-somethings living below me?? 

 

Perhaps I’m so angry because I would love to be having a party, but I’m two weeks out of the hospital and Jaimie and I are trying to stay away from people. We’re trying to flatten the curve. I’ve only seen my parents once in three weeks. Because the fact is that if any of us get anything then we are facing the prospect of being at the hospital, on a ventilator, all alone. This isn’t something with which to mess around!  It sucks that our efforts are being thwarted by a rave happening below us. 

 

Maybe that’s the root of the problem. The fact that here in South Carolina, there don’t seem to be any rules. I know what they are in almost every other state in the country, but here in the Palmetto State we reserve the right be as stupid as we want to be. Are we Sheltering in Place? Are we Hunkered Down? Are we Locked Away? Good luck trying to make sense of any of it. What sort of gatherings are allowed? I tried to Google it, but just got off line more confused than I was when I got on. On Friday I could go buy a mattress at Mattress Firm. I could buy some tile and finish my bathroom. Did I need a car wash? Well I could get one if I wanted! 

 

That’s what makes me feel the craziest of all. Am I being dramatic? Are we making this whole thing up? I could be forgiven into thinking that I was except for the fact that I know people who have it. And the schools are closed. I can’t teach my students but I can buy some throw pillows at Tuesday Morning. Hey— at least South Carolina is staying on brand. 

 

So that’s the current view from our little corner of the crises. Maybe in a few days I’ll start liking this party music coming from below. Or maybe I’ll just say F-it and go party with them. More than likely I’ll just stay here, collecting more evidence. 

 

Did I say evidence again? 

 

Silly me. 

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