When I moved into my place earlier this year I blogged about the issues I had with the sound coming through the walls from the neighbors. My home is a connected townhouse with thin walls and it was a major issue but over time I haven't written about it because, well, I haven't been home for a good chunk of the year.
One of the biggest issues I had was with my neighbor to my east that would listen to classical music starting around 4AM. He always had it a such a low volume that the only audible sounds were that of a muffled base. And when the dee-jay (does anyone refer to classical music on air talent as DJ's?) would come on his voice was on par with the adults from the Peanuts cartoons. For some this might not be an issues, but having hyper-sensitive senses led to many a night without much sleep starting at 4AM.
I think letters were sent out about the issue and the noise went away in the morning. I still could almost imagine the noise every morning just out of habit, but when I got back from my tour last week I saw a new for sale sign at the entrance to my housing area and thought nothing of it. Then, two days ago, I looked closer and saw that the address was that of the classical music at 4AM loving neighbor. I walked by the place and the realtor key contraption thingy (yes, I do believe that is the technical term) was there and I looked through the back window and there was no sign that a person was living there. The neighbor I never knew was gone.
Why do I say I never knew him? Because I never once saw him. I heard his voice through the wall once and the only thing I know is about the classical music. You might think I feel a bit of relief now but it's much different than that as the feeling I'm experiencing is remorse, in a way. This is just a great example of Asperger's. How so? In the two places I live I've never once had a conversation with any of my neighbors. Much like I say in my presentations, I do everything I can to preserve the 4th wall. I won't reach out, I won't say hello because of the high level of social anxiety that it creates so my tactic is to remain invisible.
Remaining invisible, of course, leads to having no idea who is around me and I'm left wondering who that man was. What was his job? How old was he? Where did he go? What was the inspiration for classical music before the sun had even considered cracking the horizon? I'm also left wondering if other people have these thoughts about those around them?
My neighbor I never knew is gone now and while my sleeps will now be uninterrupted I'm left with this sense of emptiness; as if I should have somehow said hello, or learned something about him. In the end, though, this will just be one more person in my life that was around me and I'm just left with questions and not a single answer.