The notice had come in the mail a week beforehand, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. I had even thought about it right before I went to bed, but the first jackhammer blast still ripped me out of my dreams and had me running for my bedroom window. In my sleep addled state, I mistakenly thought we were in the middle of an earthquake, or that someone had drunkenly slammed their car into our house. Despite the notice, I was still unprepared for the post-apocalyptic scene unfolding in the street outside.
Our street is somehow a major thoroughfare, despite it’s location in the middle of a typical rapidly aging suburban neighborhood. “Road construction to repair sewer lines…closed until July…” the city engineering department notice spelled it out in fairly plain terms, but I didn’t quite realize what it meant to me. A giant jagged hole ripped in the ground in front of my driveway, the inconvenience and extra planning required to leave the house, but worst of all, the constant stream of noise-pollution that permeates the house and is impossible to escape. The dog spends all day on alert, pacing and growling at the perceived threat outside the door. The twins scream at the dog to stop barking, and fight constantly because it is too loud for them to nap for long. I have been staring at the same story all week, unable to string two thoughts together long enough to write anything above an elementary level thesis statement.
I assumed that the construction would be mildly inconvenient at worst, and would provide a nice respite from the constant barrage of traffic at best. And yet I sit here a week later dreading Monday and the literal headache that it will bring. I have never been fond of winter, but this year I find myself dreaming of the warmth (and quiet) summer will bring a lot earlier than normal.