Dear Sleep Apnea Guy

The first night in a new apartment is pure terror.

I’ve switched abodes about eight or nine times, and it never gets any easier. As I get ready for bed on day No. 1, avoiding half-completed Ikea furniture and boxes I’ll never actually unpack, I contemplate the rather hefty decision I’ve just made. One of my greatest fears is that I’ve unknowingly moved in next door to a punk band or a drug addict or—worse—a new family.

We’ve been spared the punk band in Lima, BUT our upstairs neighbors have a baby, wear high heels in the house and at least one person has a terrible case of sleep apnea.

The baby and the man/woman wearing heels, I could honestly do without—it’s Sleep Apnea Guy I’ve come to appreciate. This gentleman retires at around 9 p.m. every evening and is still asleep when we rise at 7 a.m.

At first, his sudden starts and stops were a morbid fascination. I’d lie awake at night, holding my breath every time he caught his. Then, after a week or two, it was annoying. Either our walls are incredibly thin or this guy was locomotive loud. (Knowing Lima, probably both.) But, after nine months, the sound is almost lulling. His snorts blend into the car sirens, random shouts and faint music that soundtrack my dreams. However, for the past week, Sleep Apnea Guy hasn’t been snoring/gasping/wheezing. And I miss him.

Dear Sleep Apnea Guy,

We’ve never met. I’m the female voice shouting in English at the male voice to heat up the pasta for dinner. Hear that slight, valley drawl? Yup, that’s me!

I’m sorry I haven’t been a great neighbor. When I first moved in, I kept meaning to stop by and bring you guys some brownies. But then I didn’t know whether you liked brownies or perhaps you were on a diet or maybe you’re cursed with a nut allergy. Anyway, things got unnecessarily complicated and then three months passed. After that I figured I’d let too much time elapse. And, well, #awkwardturtle

But even though we’ve never chatted face-to-face, I feel like I know you! Your presence in apartment 703 is very integral to my being. Without your snores, I can’t fall to sleep. And lack of sleep means I’m the female voice shouting in English at the male voice in a slightly crazy, high-pitched shriek brought to you by Insomnia. Yup, that’s me!

Perhaps you’ve gone on a business trip? Taken a vacation? Went to bake a casserole/wash your hair/walk your dog and never came back? Whatever the reason, I miss you and hope you return soon.



P.S. I noticed your baby is sleeping through the night now. Congrats!

P.P.S. Your roommate’s clog dancing lessons are really paying off. Let me know dates/times for the next recital!

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