Death By Decibels

We planned to write about phobias for September’s Writer Wednesday posts, but I really couldn’t think WW Septemberof one. The last few days, however, may have instilled in me a new fear.

Do you remember some years back when American soldiers were trying to force Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy in Panama City? They went with noise, blaring rock music through loudspeakers and turning a nearby field into a helicopter landing. Noriega lasted ten days. After this weekend, I’m surprised the people in the Embassy didn’t throw him out into the street a lot sooner.

Last Thursday night about midnight, I was on my way to bed when I heard a strange clicking noise in the hallway. Water, dripping from somewhere, soaking the throw rug in front of the non-functional and seldom-opened second bathroom. So I went up to the attic, knowing full well what I would find: a dripping A/C drain line and what appeared to be a puddle on the attic floor. It wasn’t until Friday morning that I discovered there was no puddle in the attic, and there was no ceiling in the bathroom, just a pile of sopping wet insulation and sheet rock on the bathroom floor.

So along with the A/C tech (that part was an easy fix) came the water damage folks, who tore out the remains of the wet ceiling and a bit more sheet rock, and set up four industrial strength drying fans and a large machine that I think was some sort of giant (and loud) dehumidifier.

The noise was—well, I don’t know where to begin. It never stopped (at least not after I reset the breaker the machinery popped about half an hour in). It was everywhere. Even closed doors didn’t help much. The second day in, I found a relatively quiet spot—relatively—in the opposite corner of the house, where I could do some paperwork and read, but I couldn’t concentrate on anything more demanding than Sudoku at my computer.

Turning the TV or the radio up very loud almost masked the relentless sound of the fans. Almost. My poor cat alternated clinging to me with stalking around the house meowing loudly in protest, something she never does. And I abandoned her from time to time, running off for a peaceful lunch with my Kindle and the fast food of the day.

The fans were set in motion midday on Friday. Someone came to check them and tell me the walls fansweren’t dry yet on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the technician removed the two fans in the bathroom, leaving the other two, and the big red thing, in the hall. There was no discernible drop in the sound level. By now I was receiving emails from the electric company suggesting that I should have my A/C unit checked because I was using so much more energy than usual.

I actually slept all right despite the fans, probably because spending the days with them was so exhausting. My brain felt like it was stuffed with cotton wool, when it wasn’t making me slightly dizzy. My stomach, and its companion organs, were working overtime. My nerves were shot. And I was cold, in spite of turning the thermostat up.

This morning (Tuesday), a few hours short of four days, the technician who set everything up on Friday came back. He took measurements, made notes, and hauled the rest of the equipment out to his truck. If he had said, “One more day,” I think I might have lost it completely.

So, phobias? How about the sound of water dripping where there shouldn’t be water at all? In fact, I’m seriously thinking of having the sixty-year-old galvanized pipes in my house replaced before they spring a leak.

It Had To Be LoveOn a happier note, check out Tamra Baumann’s new release, It Had To Be Love, available now from Montlake.

What with vacations, back-to-school, and book deadlines, the Wednesday Writers are a little short-handed this month, but catch up with Tamra Baumann, Priscilla Kissinger, Wendy LaCapra, and Carol Post for more tales of phobias. Join us again next month for a discussion of character names.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. prisakiss
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 10:38:12

    Kay, we have a beeping sound (goes off every 60 seconds) in our house at the moment due to a surge protector plugged into a wall behind a HEAVY bookcase and we can’t get to moving things off of it until the weekend. Needless to say, I totally understand your dilemma with the fan noise.

    I sure hope it’s fixed by today!

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    • Kay Hudson
      Sep 09, 2015 @ 14:02:54

      Pris, the drying is finished. The house was blissfully quiet last night. The sheet rock repair hasn’t even been scheduled, but since I don’t use that bath, I don’t much care when that gets done.

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  2. tamrabaumann
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 10:47:13

    Kay, I feel for you. Those drying fans are incredibly loud. Been there done that, too. Glad you were able to sleep, even though it was from sheer exhaustion. ;0)

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  3. Wendy LaCapra
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 18:42:52

    Oh my Goodness, Kay! What an ordeal! I’m glad that you are all dried out and things are quiet once again. Here in NYC, I have to sleep with earplugs…

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    • Kay Hudson
      Sep 09, 2015 @ 19:26:02

      Wendy, I bought some earplugs, but I never used them. I guess it was the constancy as much as the volume. So now I’m catching up on the laundry I didn’t do over the weekend because I couldn’t stand the thought of adding the washing machine & dryer noise to the mix!

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  4. Carol J. Post
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 21:24:15

    I’m sorry you had to go through all that, Kay, but I’m glad you’re all dried out. Hopefully putting it back together again won’t be too bad. There will be noise, but at least it won’t go on and on. It’s those constant, unending ones that drive you bonkers.

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