That is 3.30 in the afternoon, and if I am lucky it starts even at three o’clock. But it also happened that the day didn’t start before six. And since we usually eat around seven – with me being in bed by 8.30 – that was rather a short day for me.
The houses in our street are being renovated, and the windowsills and doors newly painted, which means builders (only men) are working with scaffoldings, generators, sanding machines, you name it. It means a lot of noise for me to deal with. Whomever invented earplugs is my hero, but these only mute the sounds surrounding me. The hearing protections that look like huge headphones these men are wearing is what I longed for and my partner had to buy, because I simply could not take it anymore.
I am not one to talk about symptoms, but I just cannot cope with noises. My partner eating a bowl of yogurt with me in the same room almost wrecks our relationship. Have you ever tried eating lunch and wearing earplugs at the same time? Or brush your teeth? Eating with those headphones on is no picnic either (oh, the pun). And I just found out, it makes no difference what you are wearing when peeing.
Thankfully, my knitting project is nothing but a garter stitch. For those who don’t know: garter stitch is the same stitch (knit) every single stitch, on both sides. Nothing but endless rows of knit knit knit – not that much can go wrong with it. That is not simply a good thing, it is a necessity. Because – somehow with all this tumult – I cannot think. I. Cannot. Think. I. Cannot. Cannot. I. Cannot. Cannot what? Huh? Oh yes, thinking was the problem I was discussing.
So up until the machines (and radio’s, aaargh) finally cease to stop, the hammering slows down and the sandpapering comes to an end, I cannot think. But when it does, I sit up, crack my neck, roll my head (and occasionally my eyes for the result that doesn’t seem to be consistent with all-that-noise. All-that-noise was so impressive, I expected… Well, I don’t know what I expected, but I thought something significant would have taken place with all-that-noise. A new storey on the house or an underground parking space perhaps) and take a deep breath. Subsequently, slowly, very slowly my brain seems to find it’s way back to it’s original shape, after it has been ripped apart for hours trying to block out the world around it. It was nothing but a system overload. Hence the title, my life on those days didn’t begin sooner than when the last of these men have left the street.
Are you still reading? I can’t imagine anyone keeping up with my delusional rambling. But if you made it this far I am glad you are so emphatetic. Perhaps you were thinking this piece would be about life beginning at forty?
Yes, in June of this year I will be turning forty, but I will be the last person to claim that that is when life begins. There are hopeful things going on regarding ME and feasibly (this is me NOT being cynical, a lot of work needs to be done) my life can begin at fifty. With my health perhaps improved so I am physically able to run run run when I encounter projects that bother me with all-that-noise.
About my fortieth birthday: please, let all this noisy shit be over, with me back to my thinking mode for more than a few hours a day.
I know you cannot stand anymore rambling by me. Have you read until the end of this article? Seriously? I am speechless, incapable of more rambling… I am going to knit you a medal.
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This post is also available in: Dutch