Night before last, I barely got a wink of sleep.
I’d gone to bed at a reasonable hour, engrossed in a book I was reading. The last time I looked at the clock, it was 1:38am.
Just as I was drifting off to dreamland, my upstairs neighbor came home. She (I’m sure it’s a woman) never takes off her street shoes at home. They’re not soft-soled shoes like the ones I wear. They’re hard-soled, like boots.
She clomps around in them until, presumably, she takes them off for bed.
I was almost asleep when she arrived. Normally, she stomps around for awhile. Then, she goes to bed, but night before last, she had company. Her boots were joined by heavier ones, pounding around above me. Then the music came on.
It wasn’t that it was overly loud, but the bass sounded, Boom, Ba-Boom, Ba-Boom, Ba-Boom, Silence. Then, again. Boom, Ba-Boom, Ba-Boom, Ba-Boom, Silence. Every time there was silence, I lay there hoping that the song had ended.
It was after 5am before the music and the thumping around finally stopped. Finally, blessed quiet, I still had trouble sleeping. I was done in.
So last night, I decided to go to bed nice and early. I read for awhile as she upstairs thudded around, scraping furniture across the floor.
When she stopped, I fell asleep immediately. I was in the middle of a good dream when the intercom phone suddenly rang.
Disoriented, I sat straight up in bed, before realizing what it was. I grabbed at the phone, which hangs on the wall above the nightstand.
“Sorry to bother you, but you have a visitor.” I looked at the clock. It was 3:36am.
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, there’s someone here.”
“Who is it?” My sleepy mind was flailing around, thinking who it might be. “Is it Roberto?” Roberto is the owner of the apartment that I’m renting, but I couldn’t imagine that he’d arrived at that hour to fix the smoke detector that had beeped until I’d disconnected its wires.
I could hear voices conferring on the other end of the line. “It’s a mistake. Sorry,” said the concierge. He hung up.
As I lay back down, the phone rang again.
“You’re in 515, right?”
“He says that he’s renting 515. He has a confirmation from the owner.”
“There must be a mistake because, obviously, I’m renting 515.”
Finally, I told him. “Look, you’ll have to call Roberto. Maybe he’s renting another apartment in the building.”
“Okay. Sorry, sorry.”
I lay down again. Wide awake this time, wondering if I were going to hear a knock at the door, someone trying to get into the apartment, which apparently, Roberto had mistakenly double-rented.
I lay there for a long time, thinking that surely Roberto had other apartments in the building. He must have given the new arrival the wrong apartment number. I listened for footsteps, but no one ever came to my door. A long while later, my heart stopped pounding and my mind calmed down enough to go back to sleep.
I’ll probably never know what really happened.