Sleeping on the Sofa Again

My bedroom window looks out onto a playground where, a couple of months ago, the groundskeepers installed intensely bright floodlights, which they run all night long, presumably to deter crime and reduce the chances the lot will become a campsite littered with trucker bombs, human feces, and discarded hypodermic needles by morning. Good timing, too, as only a few days ago, the City of Philadelphia tore down the Kensington1 tent cities and broke up the open-air fentanyl markets, scattering hundreds of drug-addicted homeless2 people throughout the city, making the problem, if not necessarily worse, certainly more widespread.

I couldn't sleep with these huge floodlights washing across my face all night, so I wound up moving my bed to the other side of the room, behind the window. Rearranging all of the furniture was a hassle, but resorting to closing the blinds at night was not an option because I don't use an alarm clock, instead preferring to rise with the morning sun. It makes a huge difference in my sleep hygiene.3

Moving the bed resolved the issue. That is until a couple of weeks ago when robins nesting in the trees behind my apartment took to singing from 12 AM to 6 AM. It's every night, all night, nonstop. I guess the birds can't sleep under the blazing lights, either. I may be forced to resort to the sofa again. Fortunately, I have a brand new one that's pretty good for sleeping on.

  1. Whatever you may have heard about Kensington, it's worse than that. It is the kind of place you have to see to believe, but probably don't go there. 4 ↩︎

  2. "Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth. So, they invent a kind of soft language to protect themselves from it... Smug, greedy, well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It's as simple as that." (George Carlin on "Soft Language."↩︎

  3. In winter, when there is no morning sun to speak of here, I simulate the effect of sunrise with lights on timers, which gradually grow brighter over twenty minutes. It strikes me odd that society settled on torturing ourselves with the blaring of clock radios and buzzers — dashing our dreams against the snooze button each morning — when a lightbulb connected to an automated dimmer switch provides a far more pleasant and effective means of keeping to a schedule. ↩︎

  4. Some find these sorts of videos exploitative and prefer people be left to suffer with a dignity that can only come from being kept out of sight. This makes it easier to project passionate political arguments and sincere sympathies onto hypothetical situations people may experience without ever having to confront the reality of a human tragedy unfolding at scale. (See Carlin above.) ↩︎

Horsegirl - "Beautiful Song" (Official Audio)