House Acoustics

There are some things you just shouldn’t bring up.

Acoustics is one of them.

On the way to work one day, one of the volunteers I work with brought up a question, seemingly out of nowhere. The questions was “If you were at home, in your room by yourself, and you heard the person in the next room, also by themselves, sneeze, would you say ‘God Bless you’?”

That’s a horrifying question, and apparently that happened to him in his other home (he only volunteers with us two days a week), and the person in the other room really did ‘bless him’ when he sneezed. This is terrifying, and I felt really bad for him. But I really wish he hadn’t brought it up at all, because he said this to a car full of people who lived in a house with terrifying house acoustics. And that’s the thing about house acoustics; you need to always put up a front as if nothing is going on at all. Because addressing the issue only makes things worse. Right then and there, I tuned out of the conversation, and pretended to drift off into my own head. I didn’t want any part of that conversation.


A couple of days into living in that house I was sat on my bed minding my own business when someone else went into the bathroom to, well, use the bathroom. Unfortunately, my bedroom was right next to the bathroom. The sound was not only horrifically loud, but seemed to be the distinct sound of someone relieving themselves standing up. I was then and there privy to one of my coworkers secrets (or so I thought) and it was a secret I well and truly wanted nothing to do with it. Thankfully, I had no idea which of my colleagues was packing a surprise, so I bottled up this information like the hollow vessel that I am an vowed never to bring it up for the duration of this work contract. As time went by, I triangulated who the person in question was just by observing who was where in the house. But even more terrifying was the realization that it wasn’t just my room, the sound resonated IN THE WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE.

That’s when the concern kicked in. I suddenly had to strategically plan every trip to the bathroom to ensure that either as few people as possible were in the house, or as many of them were asleep as possible. This was no god damn fun at all, but it did start getting my up super early in the morning.

Just as I was getting comfortable with all of this, it started to down on me that the sound of a person urinating standing came regardless of who used the bathroom (and there I was all proud of my sleuthing skills), and it was just an added effect of the bathroom doing its thing. I put this together mostly because I found it unlikely that all five of the girls I was living with were packing the same surprise. Statistically unlikely.

I was never in my life so motivated to move out of a house as quickly as I was to move out of that house.

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