Thursday, 26 January 2017
Our survival instincts are often compromised by our denial of the imminent danger. A pair of amoral people were living above my studio, and yet I chose to be blind to the risk. Maybe I was too scared to confront the truth and yet foolishly refused to acknowledge the defeat by moving out. As much as it sounds like ‘Victims bashing’, I feel victims, unless children, may be partially responsible for the tragedies, judging from my own behavior.
But in my defense, the noise of their washing machine was weakening me. I was puzzled as to why it should have oppressed my chest (technically 'breast', but I felt the pressure deeper inside). It turned out that the washing machines emit infrasounds, otherwise known as a slower killer that triggers depression in the long run. The noise was amplified by their tile floor and insulation material was difficult to apply on my centuries old uneven ceiling lined with woods. Like the title says, it is the true horror story in Paris.
Normal people wash once per day or every other days, so the infrasound would not cause damage, but Leila and her fiancé were running their washing machine virtually non-stop. I started to drop things for my hands were shaking. How could the two upstairs be not affected by the noise? I frantically searched for an answer and it seems if you drink a lot, you are less likely to be affected by the infrasound/low frequencies noise. The wine is cheap in Paris so I tried this solution. The oppressive feeling in my chest subsided to my delight. No wonder the Parisians do not seem to be affected by the infrasound that passes through the thin walls. (Incidentally, the high frequency noise do not penetrate solid object like walls) Maybe Leila and her fiancé drank a lot? Yes and no, as I was about to find out.
One afternoon I saw Leila’s fiancé, again by the window on the staircase, but he did not notice me. He was frantically banging the window grid with something. The rhythm reminded me of the other night when he was banging his floor/my ceiling. There was no usual smirk on his face, and I sensed that his mind was absent. It slowly dawned on me that while Leila’s action stemmed from her desire to hurt others, he may have been driven by another thing. I was never a cigarette smoker and drank light but I had read about the other substances that affected our nerves. To be continued.