After ten years in this bedroom I recently moved my bed next to the window. Now when I lie down I can feel the night breeze on my face, and when I wake up in the morning I can see over the nearby rooftops to the sunrise. I love being so close to but removed from the street. It’s always been true in this bedroom that you can hear someone tapping a cigarette out of a soft pack on opposite sidewalk, but now I’m really right in among the sounds of the party trolley and the barflies and the skateboarders and the panhandlers and the students who are so happy to be young and the person preaching at seven in the morning (this only happened once) and the one who whistles like a mockingbird just after dawn (this happens every day). Don’t get me wrong, I hate certain kinds of disruptive noise—idling trucks, for example, and let’s not talk about saxophones
—but by and large the noise of my neighborhood is okay with me.
The local college is building a sixteen-story dorm outside my bedroom window.
A group of neighbors met with the construction team today. The process will take two years and will involve steel-sheet piling (this means sheets of steel that are going to be vibrated sixty feet deep into the ground), five months of excavation, a one-hundred-and-eighty-foot electric hoist, and upwards of two hundred construction workers. I do a lot of work in my bedroom, and I think it’s possible that I’ll either develop a tolerance for constant noise and vibration or go completely insane.
But mostly I’m sad that I’ll lose the sky.