I have two choices tonight:
a. be sexiled from my apartment
b. bear through the raucus
Both unfavorable and both spark this first instinct in me to hate men and midnight. He’s coming at midnight, this apparent hunk of a man who’s worked with my roommate for years. To prepare for his arrival, my roommate gave me noise-canceling earbuds.
So, I chose b: bear through the raucus, with earbuds — and hopefully sleep on my side. I coudln’t do a, since I’d have nowhere else to go — nor would I want to.
Now let’s analyze my feelings on this subject. I hate hearing intimate happenings. Call me a prude, but I’ve had my share of these “forced eavesdropping” kinds of experiences, and it always freaks me out. My first experience with sex without actually having it was in my senior year of high school, when I went to college for a sleepover at my sister’s freshman dorm. I felt kind of intimidated by her new friends, how old everyone seemed to be, all the choices and decisions sprawled out ahead that you’d have to make for yourself away from the sheltered structure of home.
But the apex of trauma came when I woke up the next morning to the sounds of sex — my sister, having sex with her boyfriend on her bed behind me. With my back turned to them, I didn’t dare move from my spot on the floor but withdrew further into myself inside the sleeping bag.
It sounded like she was being hurt. I didn’t understand why that was pleasurable, and I felt helpless, numb, and I wanted to go home. My eyes burned hot, and soon, teardrops made their soundless mark on the bag’s fabric. I hated my sister for putting me through that, and I was angry at him for hurting her or for not knowing better not to do that while I was there — and I wanted to save her too. All that I felt inside that little sleeping bag.
A year later in my own freshman dorm room, I smothered the noises of my roommate and all the guys she brought in our room now and again by holding a pillow over my head to the point of suffocation. At times when the facts of life became too much, I stormed out of the room and slept on the lobby couch (the epitome of sexile).
And later on in school, I listened to the sounds of my drunken suite-mate losing her much-cherished virginity to “some guy.” (I’d hear more about it later as she sat on the toilet in the common bathroom separating our rooms and bawled about it to her friend on the phone). And that time was just as freaky as the rest. It squeezed pity out of my heart, and frustration at the stupidity of the girls, and anger at the impudence of guys.
I guess it makes me feel odd when this happens … yet again … and inexcusably, post-college. I mean, I get it, we’re roommates: These things are bound to happen. But must you make it so obvious? Can’t you just try to be quiet about it, or turn on music and not tell me about it, or a combination of both that I know works famously.
And to make it all better, my room is smack against my roomie’s. And so, I’ll confess, dear reader: Like a virgin anticipating her first time that she can sense coming in a few hours, I’m nervous!
“Good”night. Pray for me and silence.