When I was around twelve or so, I developed an interesting though bothersome neurosis. One of many at the time, but this one sticks out the most clearly in my mind. When I had to go to bed, I could not sleep if there were any slight noises. So if my parents walked by in the hallway, for example, and there was this unexpected squeak on the floor, or if they whispered too loudly, I would freak out and start yelling at them. Be quiet, I am trying to sleep! Now who did I think I was, some king or something? The worse sounds by far were those that were erratic and unpredictable, but even the more rhythmic sounds which repeated themselves would get on my nerves if this cycle continued for too long. When will it ever stop! Take for example one evening when it was raining. There was this rain pipe that ran down the side of the house, and it was right outside my room. Due to some fluke or other, this rain pipe was so perfectly vertical that each rain drop which ran down the gutter of the roof to the hole at the top would plummet downwards without touching the sides of the pipe. This unabated free fall resulted in an almost explosive crash when this drop splattered ever so loudly at the bottom of the pipe. Unbearable to say the least. When would it ever stop?! One evening late I got so very insane with this unbearable cacophony of dripping that in desperation I went outside in my pyjamas. It was pouring down rain. I had grabbed a piece of cloth from the kitchen, and I wadded it up in my fist, shoving it in the hole so that it was wedged in tight. There we go, water-tight. That should take care of things. Well, what a relief that was! And I went back my jolly way to bed looking forward to the wonderful slumber without sounds. Unfortunately, as the drips kept falling and collecting at the bottom of the pipe, the cloth absorbed all the moistness quite efficiently until it became too much. Really wet. The cloth became saturated and the drops which fell started to slap the wet surface of the cloth with such violence that it was even louder than the original situation before I had stuck that wad of cloth in there in the first place. I thought I was going to go crazy! So I had to go out there again and repeat the whole process, replace the cloth with a dry one, etc. I think this cycle of desperation repeated itself perhaps five times until out of pure exhaustion I somehow fell asleep. Those childhood neuroses came and went and there were many and many inbetween. Fortunately, I somehow survived to become an adult, at least that is what I think.
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