I never pass anyone walking through the halls of my apartment building. I rarely hear noises from my neighbors, except for the occasional THUNK or SHRRIIIIK from apartment 21 during hours that are traditionally reserved for dinner-making; I assume it's cabinets and pots. I like to imagine it's someone who makes excellent ramen from scratch for themselves each night. You know--the quiet, sagely type, but someone who really knows how to cook. I like to image we become fast friends, and share our lives over hot bowls of ramen. I like to imagine someone would make a movie about our unexpected friendship one day.
But at night, when things are quietest, I reliably and clearly hear snoring while lying in my own bed. Not rude snoring, or intrusive. It's not coming from someone with sleep apnea or sinus issues. Nothing weird or jolting or grotesque. No, this is picture book snoring-- a soft 'honk shuuuu' a metronome would be proud of.
I can't tell if it's coming from the apartment to my left, right, or below me. I can't tell if it's coming from a man or a woman. I can't tell if it's coming from someone who went to a job they loved, and came home so fulfilled and exhausted that their only choice was to surrender to sleep, or if it's coming from someone who dealt with draining financial issues and problematic family drama all day and their only choice was to come home and surrender to sleep.
I want to ask them.
who loved you today? was it fulfilling?
who hurt you today? and how? and where?
are you lonely? yearning for solitude?
is anyone lying beside you?
what did you laugh at today, and can we laugh at it again, together, now?
did you eat anything memorable?
are you okay?
but my questions float into the night unanswered, and I drift into a slumber of my own.