Monday, March 28, 2005

I Blame Mercury

Mercury is in retrograde, according to my friends who keep track of these things. I really haven’t the faintest idea why this is supposed to be so important. But I do know this. When Mercury is in retrograde we are allowed to blame anything and everything on Mercury’s apparent retrograde motion. Fine. I’d much rather blame a dried-out planet that’s barely bigger than the Moon than take any personal responsibility.

One thing that is surely Mercury’s fault is that I’ve been feeling extremely angry for the past week to 10 days. If you consult astrological charts I’m sure you’ll find that this time period coincides exactly with Mercury’s going retrograde. I’ve gotten irrationally frothy about the new neighbors next door. Their only pieces of furniture seem to be a drum set, a guitar, a bass, a wheezy synthesizer, a mattress, and an assortment of bikes. Maybe I missed it, but I never saw a moving van or U-Haul or anything move stuff in.

The day after I saw the drum set arrive, there was an extended practice session that could be heard--quite clearly--from my garden sanctuary (i.e., my backyard and patio). I’m sorry, but this is not allowed in my universe. I could feel my blood pressure (which in normally very low, like 80/50 or something [if that’s possible]), screech into the thermosphere. I needn’t remind you that at the time I had a migraine and was still exhausted from my bout with the flu, because that had nothing to do with it. It was Mercury exerting its influence on my psyche. There was little I could do. I knew it wasn’t a good idea to waltz over and introduce myself amid the din of the band practice, but when I heard someone out in the yard, over I went.

To my credit, the first words out of my mouth were not, “What the fuck is that fucking noise? Stop it at once!” No. I first introduced myself and then I mentioned--just mentioned--that it was “a little loud.” The girl—she looks about 20—hurriedly informed me that they were going to put in soundproofing but that her boyfriend was practicing because his band had a gig the next evening. I feigned interest in the band, asking its name, etc. and she suggested that I should come to the gig (?!). I blabbered on for another five minutes about the neighborhood and the neighbors--I was trying to be friendly and also attempting to sort of redeem myself. I’m sure it was pretty obvious to her that the only reason I came over that that moment was to bitch about the noise.

A reasonable person would have taken her at her word about the soundproofing and worried no more about it. Not me. I continued to seethe (which almost certainly perpetuated the migraine) and think ill of these kids. For example: “How is it that they can afford--at their tender age and being apparently unemployed--to buy a house that cost $239,000? Why must that guy with the crap muffler keep visiting? Why does the mom of one of them have to use our driveway to turn around in? Why couldn’t some nice quiet eccentric gardeners have moved in instead?”

Jeez. I am just a horribly uncharitable person to be thinking this way, no? Why can’t I be Zen about this? If nothing else, it is bad for my mental, physical, and emotional health to work myself into such a state over this--especially since I haven’t heard any music coming from their house since Friday. But no. Instead, I’m waiting with ears pricked, ready to pounce at the first crash of a cymbal. That’s what I’ll want to do, anyway. But that’s not actually what I will do. What I will do is wig out and be miserable and possibly buy earplugs or those industrial earmuffs. Then after a few more weeks have passed, I’ll go over and meekly ask how they’re coming along with the soundproofing.

I am a most exquisite example of passive-aggressiveness, am I not?


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