Friday, June 17, 2005

PEACE and QUIET, for the love of God!

I live directly across the street from the Center for Disease Control.

This has great problematic potential. Literally a football field away, scientists, epidemiologists and public health officials are manipulating virulent bacterias that could possibly wipe out thousands of people. At least, that is what I imagine goes on inside that huge compound. I have lived these last 10 months with the vague fear in the back of my mind that a mishap, broken test tube or terrorist assault would release deadly viruses, and a cloud of death would rush across the street, up my front lawn, and seep inside the cracks in the 60 year old cinder-block my apartment is built of, killing me instantaneously.

It's a bit intimidating.

That vague fear, though, is nothing. The worst part about living DIRECTLY across the street from the CDC is the fact that somewhere deep in the depleted national budget, the government has found plenty of money to fund a never-ending construction project in my front yard. In the last 10 months, I have witnessed buildings erected, sidewalks formed, and, most recently, a huge stone wall built up around the compound.

All this work requires a lot of noise. A LOT of noise! A LOT of NOISE! A LOT OF NOISE! Every morning at precisely 7:30 a.m., I am awakened by the droning of some sort of heavy-duty saw. 7:30 A.M.! It doesn't matter how what time I went to bed, how tired I am, or when I planned to wake up; I am awake every day at precisely 7:30 a.m. I try to return to sleep, rolling over, squishing the pillow around my ears, turning on some music, but it is all to no avail. Soon, they start hammering.


The saw continues.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzz. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Buzzzzzzzzzz. POUND. Buzzzzzzzzz. POUND. POUND. POUND. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sleep is no longer an option.

This morning, I had to wake up soon after 7:30 anyway, so I got out of bed and headed toward the shower, hoping for some moment of quiet to start the day, the old showerhead's water noises drowning out the POUNDing and the Buzzzzzzzzzzz-ing.

I got in the shower, and opened the window (my poor old apartment has seen its better days, and the bathroom ceiling is a breeding ground for green, brown and yellow mold. The only tactic that seems to be able to combat the continued mold-growth is leaving the window open while showering). For a moment, the noise of the water worked - all I could hear was the steady stream falling on the tub and my head. Then, it started. A continuous, high-pitched WHIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.



I look out the window. The maintenance guy has begun his mowing, an activity that is repeated at least 4 times a week, beginning directly outside my front door. AT 7:45 A.M.


Noise pollution is real, people, and it's driving me crazy.

Thank God for the new Potassium apartment, far from the CDC, fire stations and lawns that need mowing. I only wish these 40 days would pass quicker.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well that is just a small appetizer....(okay i really never knew i didnt know how to spell that word until i just know typed it).....anyways it is a small pre-meal snack of the life of blacksburg. not a big city, a semi-small, town in SW virginia somehow finds money all the freakin time to build, re-build, move, lift up & then put something right back where it was, mess up something completely perfect for no reason, or re-do a football stadium.......needless to say, i have no sympathy for your 10 months of living across the street from construction, because i know that i have only lived one year at VT and dealt with it....but there are at least 3 more ahead of me....aahhh blacksburg, i love you, construction and all...