Dumps Like a Truck: Things That Go Bump in the Morning

Monday, September 2, 2013


I used to be such a good sleeper that in college, I was frequently guilty of snoozing until 1 or 2pm. I never ate breakfast because I always woke up after lunch; in fact, I once managed to stay asleep until 4pm (though if memory serves, that one was due in part to a particularly late night & a particularly large quantity of booze).

In keeping with my love of shut-eye, I used to be one of those people who could sleep through anything. My childhood home is less than a block from highly trafficked railroad tracks, which meant a lot of late-night choo-chooing past my window; as a result, I became adept at remaining deeply asleep throughout absolutely any noise. I could fall asleep anywhere & stay asleep through anything. It became a bizarre point of pride.

Alas, those are days are gone. I don't know exactly when the change occurred, but in my old age, I've become one of those people who, like my mother, spends most of my nights thisclose to waking up, hearing every little sound like it's happening inside my ear canal. Any time my cat finds a hair tie or a penny or a piece of tinfoil to play with in the night, I wake up grumbling & shooing him out of the room. Every morning at 5:30am when Nathan wakes up for work, I angrily awaken, tossing & turning until he walks out the door & leaves the apartment silent again. One night, while I was staying at a friend's apartment in Queens, I woke up at 2am to his upstairs neighbor loudly (& badly) singing the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" - & again at 3:30am, this time to Kelly Clarkson.

I could deal with all of these things. I would be happy to wake up every single time my cat let out a mere peep if it meant that I could just sleep through the godforsaken dump truck that taunts me around 6:15am anywhere from one to three times per week.

Let me tell you about this dump truck, which is unlike all other dump trucks before it. This dump truck is louder than every other dump truck in the world, such that I have considered recording its arrival just so you'll believe me. I never know when it will arrive, because this dump truck seems not to follow any sort of schedule, but whenever it arrives, this dump truck is so loud that I may as well be sleeping inside the dumpster. To add insult to proverbial injury, the presence of this dump truck is typically accompanied by loud, crude garbagemen who engage in broey chit-chat at top volume. Did I mention that this dumpster is right below my bedroom window?

This dump truck used to come on Tuesdays, but now it comes whenever it damn well pleases or according to some actual metric that I've yet to determine. As such, there's no way to brace myself against the dump truck's noisy wrath, short of waking up at 6am every day to beat it to the punch. This is clearly not an option, so I've instead adopted a very Clint Eastwood-inspired approach to its irregular arrival, often rising against my will at 6:16 to scream out my window, "SHUT UP!" before slamming my window shut with as much force as I can muster for only having been awake for 30 seconds. Of course, I always try to yell it a little bit sideways so that the origin of the sound will be unidentifiable, & always while I'm crouched down just out of sight so my neighbors cannot identify me.

Look, there's really no point to this post at all. I just wanted to tell you that some mornings, the presence of this dump truck & the prolonged period of noisiness that accompanies it have reduced me to angry tears prior to the crack of dawn.

Get off my goddamn lawn, dump truck.

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