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I moved here in the first place to get away from things - especially awkward things. I came here when I split up with my wife. It was affordable, and though hardly palatial it was comfortable enough for me. I just wanted to get away. I just wanted to be on my own, be comfortable, recharge my batteries. To be honest I had taken a bit of a battering during the split up with my wife. I needed a place where I could just go to ground, not see anyone, not do anything, not feel obligated, just be me; if I could still figure out who me was.

So this was the last thing I needed; other people intruding on me through the walls; seeping in like a bad smell, contaminating the little space I had managed to eke out for myself, where I could relax and stop worrying. That kind of thing sounds so easy. To just have a place where you can be alone and just be, but itís not. Itís the hardest thing in the world. All kinds of things, like a hidden tide, constantly drag you out, and suck you into a world of trivialities. And now this, this leakage, this seepage, of someone elseís world into my own. You need to be a millionaire to afford any peace these days.

So I had to decide what to do. I drew up a list. This is what you are supposed to do. Every textbook recommends it - draw up a list. I never find it works but I did it anyway. Here it is, for what itís worth:

1. Tackle the neighbour.

2. Move.

3. Complain to someone.

4. Ignore it.

Iíve already touched upon the problems with 1. I donít feel I know the man well enough to raise the kind of concerns I have. When I first thought of 2. this sounded like a good idea. It would get me out of the situation without needing to tackle it, but it had major draw backs. Firstly, I didnít think I could afford it; I had only recently moved in, I had signed a lease, I had paid a big deposit, I wasnít sure what the sub-letting position would be. And secondly I had only just moved. I had already been forced out of one place and I didnít want to feel that I had been forced out of another.

3. was quite tempting. I had thought of talking to the neighbours but one of the reasons for coming here was so that I wouldnít have to talk to the neighbours. I could complain to the Landlord, but that was just shifting the problem and it felt like a mean thing to do, without first talking to the guy myself, which brought me back to 1.

And then there was 4. Blessed, easy, silent 4. You can always ignore something, if you try hard enough. So I thought Iíd try 4. I can be very decisive about not making decisions.

The first thing to do was buy some earplugs. The following night I tried them. They worked, to a certain extent. Instead of not sleeping because of noise I found I was not sleeping because I had something jammed in my ear. After a while it started giving me a headache. I pulled them out and it was such a relief. My head had felt like someone was filling it full of compressed air.

The following night I could hear sounds of drilling. He was making something, or putting something up. It was 2 a.m. I havenít seen him lately, but I hear him nearly every night now. Often he seems to have people with him, he must be a popular guy,


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