Rental Hell

My image of rental hell, even though my apartment building looks nothing like this.

Why would anyone run their bathroom fan all night or for hours at a time during the day? Are they cooking meth or crack? Are they trying to block out radio signals from outer space because their aluminum foil hat no longer works? Or do they think they can blow the coronavirus out of their living space by keeping the fan on? Those are the things I wonder about whenever I hear that fan growling on and on.

Must be someone sending evil messages from space. Right?

What’s the big deal you might think? It’s only a bathroom fan. You must be over-sensitive to noise. It’s true. I am sensitive to noise, but it’s not just me. I live only about a dozen miles from a military base. From time to time a chopper flies by. It doesn’t make as much noise as the fan, which sounds as if the helicopter had landed on the roof of my building. I can hear the fan in the living room, in the kitchen, in my own bathroom. In bed, while wearing earplugs and with the bedroom and bathroom doors closed. 

These things don’t make as much noise as that fan. And they fly away quickly.

Last night I had to drug myself to sleep with melatonin ( a naturally occurring hormone that helps induce sleep) and Tylenol. I managed to get four hours of sleep. Today I had to take two naps. I don’t feel like eating. I can’t concentrate on anything. While up during the night I got online and emailed management. Silly of me to expect a response. In the seven years, I’ve lived in this apartment, I don’t think I’ve ever had a response to my emails. Going to the leasing office in person when this sort of thing happened before was no help.

One of my friends is a lawyer who specializes in real estate law. I contacted her to ask if it’s true that management could do nothing about the noise, which sometimes includes doing laundry at midnight, which I can also hear. My friend explained that it’s not indifference on the part of management. This is “normal noise,” unlike throwing loud parties, that management can do nothing about. Perhaps the tenants work swing shift and do their laundry when they get home. Absurd! There are twenty-four hours in a day, people have days off. NObody needs to do their laundry at midnight. What’s normal about running a bathroom fan for five or six hours at a time in the middle of the night? I’ve worked second shift and never did laundry when I got home because I have neighbors and don’t want to disturb them. I guess I’m just weird.

I didn’t call courtesy patrol last night because there’s several inches of snow on the grounds, which at three a.m. was no doubt frozen. I didn’t want to call someone out in such conditions. Tonight, if the fan roars on, I’m not going to be as considerate.

I wish I could afford to move to a house.

Can any of my readers think of an explanation for why someone would run a fan at all hours of the day and night, especially when temperatures outside are in the twenties? (-3 to -6c)

Weird, seemingly unrelated images show up when I search stock photo sites. One of the tags for this photo was “depression.” It came up when I searched for apartments. Maybe it’s not so unrelated after all. I’m not a guy, but this photo perfectly depicts how I feel when I hear that relentless fan.

All images from Pixabay.

Writer’s Hope

My Hero Saves Me

Not Cameron’s Plane

Today I was going to write another post about food. My little essays about food get me the most attention and followers. With my post about baking Latvian black rye bread, I had more than one hundred hits in one day. Most of my posts get me views counted in one digits. I even got a pretty decent, one hundred word start on my next post about food, but I couldn’t do it. Depression struck. Hard. A food post does not have the power to keep me at the keyboard. Or off my balcony railing.

I’m lucky if I can write at all when I’m depressed because I can’t even go out my front door when I’m depressed. I greet mornings with words that no new day should hear, but at least I get out of bed. So, I abandoned my food post for another day.

What keeps me going when I don’t want to keep going is my novel-in-progress. I am in love with my own words. I am in love with my story. I am in love with my protagonists, especially my hero.

Cameron Quinn, one of the protagonists in Bittersweet Christmas (a.k.a. A Daddy for Christmas), which is set in 1952, is a former flying ace, who flew Mustang P51 fighter planes during World War II. During the timeline of my story he’s a carefree (more-or-less) bachelor, working as an aeronautical engineer and test pilot at Boeing. He’s also a private pilot who owns a two-seater plane. He has a nice house in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood where he hopes to raise a family someday.

Cameron falls in love with Līvija Galiņa, a Latvian refugee who fled her country when the Red Army invaded in 1944. She’s the widow of a Latvian soldier and the mother of a seven year-old daughter, who was born months after her father was reported killed in action. In Latvia Līvija was a lawyer. In Seattle, she cleans other women’s houses. Līvija also lives on Capitol Hill, in a big house whose nine Latvian refugee residents include her daughter, mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a single father who wold like to marry Līvija. However, she’s not attracted to him. She’s attracted to Cameron who saved her life. She feels a bit like the rope in a tug of war. Her mother wants her to marry a Latvian. Any Latvian, but preferably the housemate. Līvija’s daughter, and her own heart, tug her toward Cameron. Love of her lost country and her heritage also have a strong hold on her heart.

Latvian Cinderella meets American Prince.

Writing this story gives me joy. It gives me hope. It gives me purpose. There is no high like a creator’s high. No low like the low of those who fear they can no longer create.