Wind (and Constant Noise) Can Drive You Crazy
Unlike some people, I don’t like the wind. The sound of it makes me nervous for some odd reason. So I remember not being at all surprised when I learned that there’s a tiny place in Saskatchewan — I don’t remember its name, so I’ll call it Pancake, SK — where there’s always some wind. Always. Sometimes maybe just a tiny breeze, but wind nonetheless. And in that place in Saskatchewan, the rate of suicide per capita is off the scale compared to the national average.
The relentless wind, quite literally, pushes people there over the bend. Not that there’s such a thing as a bend in Pancake, SK.
Late last January, I wrote about this new ventilation system that was installed directly above my apartment. And I wondered back then if I would get used to it, if it was to become my “new normal.” Well, it’s been 9 months now, and the blasted thing actually gets turned off automatically from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. But I’m still not, and never will be, used to it.
The fan is driving me over the bend. And while I know that the stress I’m under due to my work is the main reason why I’m feeling so damn tired these days, I’m now convinced that the fan is an irritant. When it turns itself off for the night, I immediately feel myself relaxing a little bit.
Just to give you an idea of magnitude, as the beast is obviously not exceeding acceptable decibel values… I would compare it to living directly below a laundry room where 3 dryers and 3 washers are running non-stop for 16 hours each day. But the problem is that what’s separating me from the fan is 6 inches of void and two planks of wood, not a roof made of sturdier material. On some days, things rattle in here; I’ve even had to permanently stick crunched up empty packs of cigarettes between some windows to stop the rattling.
It won’t happen tomorrow or next week, but this is a deal breaker for me and I’ll have to move out. I’ll be celebrating 10 years in the same apartment on Feb. 1, 2005, and since I hate moving so much, I assumed I’d stay here as long as I’m in Halifax. The only thing that’s holding me back right now is the rent. It’s as cheap as I’ll ever get in Halifax and, really, the most I can afford right now. One possibility I’ll look into, though, is co-op housing, of which there is a lot in this city. I know other freelancers in town who have followed that route and it’s sensible for people whose income is so intimately linked to the receivables folder. Knowing exactly when the next payday will be is the only thing I envy salaried people — that, and the benefits.
The fan just turned itself off for the night.
It is blessedly quiet in here, just as it used to be once upon a time. The only sound I hear is the quiet humming of the computer and the clicking sound from my keyboard as I type. And right now I’m thinking about how I really must try to fall asleep before the Fan from Hell comes back in service for another day.
Oh, how I miss this silence!