Saturday, May 25, 2013

Late Night Musings

The other night I was up late, working on a draft for a paper I hope to have submitted before the end of the summer.  I think it was around 4 or so.  After a while, I decided to take a break, and normally I suppose that a break at 4 AM would mean something like sleeping.  For some reason, I was so excited by the research paper that I just didn't want to sleep, and had been just gunning through it pretty much for the past three days straight.  So I didn't sleep, and started updating my paper journal.

I made a poor stroke with the pen, and wanted to amend it.  Reaching in to my desk drawer, I took out the bottle of whiteout that I only now realize I have owned since I was in 3rd grade.  I have only ever in my entire life owned one bottle of whiteout, and it is this one.  I think that's weird.  Anyway, I took out the bottle of whiteout and was shocked to find that all the correction paste had dried up sometime in the past twenty years and would no longer come out of the bottle.

My apartment is a simple affair, single bedroom, bathroom, a kitchen.  The building is also pretty simple; it's a single property with a single building on a pretty quiet street.  The building is brick, two stories, and has a total of eight apartments.  I live on the top floor, and a (married?) couple live below me.  Unfortunately, pretty much every time I put a foot down on my floor, they know about it, so sometimes they've had to come up at, say, four in the morning, and ask me to please stop moving all of my furniture around, because they're trying to sleep like normal people.

Anyway, as I was saying, the whiteout wouldn't come up, and I needed to fix the pen stroke I'd made, and I don't have any other whiteout because I've only ever owned one bottle in my entire life, so I decide, based on my practically non-existent knowledge of chemistry, that I'll just mix hot water in with the dried-up correction fluid and thereby get liquid correction fluid.

So I'm at my sink, and I have the tap water running.  Just a trickle, because I don't want to waste water.  It's running, and heating up, and I put some in... and the whiteout doesn't mix with it.  So I start shaking the bottle, and I just know that with each down-shake I'm reverberating the entire celing of my downstairs neighbors.  But I keep doing this, water's running, I put water in, shake it up some, pour the water out, put more in, shake it up.  Some little flakes are starting to come, and I think, this is good, soon the flakes will be smaller, and then the small flakes will mix with the water like a colloidal dispersion, and then I can use it to correct my mistake.  So I put some water in, shake it up, pour it out, put some more in, shale it up, pour it out.

I don't even know how long I was doing this.  Seriously, maybe like thirty minutes.  I may seriously have spent thirty minutes at 4 in the morning on a weekday trying to revitalize my 3rd grade bottle of correction fluid.

At some point, I hear movement downstairs, and I hear a door open.  The outside door.  Crap, I thought, I woke them up again.  I hate waking them up.  It's rude, really, and I don't like being rude.  So I tried to quiet it down and I got ready for when he'd knock and I'd go to the door to find him standing outside looking like a zombie raised from death not moments before asking me to please, please stop moving around, it's so early and people are trying to sleep, and it's pretty reasonable to ask you to keep it down, so please stop scurrying around doing whatever it is, and what are you even doing anyway?

And it was then that I realized, if they were to ask me what the heck I was doing up at 4 in the morning making all this noise, it would probably be impossible to convince them that I wasn't on drugs.

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