When the auto body shop opened across the street last year, I was wary. I was skeptical. But then I was delighted.
Sure, they sell car stereos, alarms and a more varieties of rims than I ever knew existed. They serve as a meeting point and hangout for a large group of men who spend their free time customizing and polishing their cars and preparing for car shows. But they cleaned up the long-vacant property, are relatively friendly, and usually close up shop by 8 PM. During the day, yeah, we’ll hear outbreaks of car alarms as they’re testing stereo installations, and occasionally they install so much bass that the pictures on our walls rattle, but for the most part, they’re pretty good neighbors. And, they installed so many cameras to protect their investment that they drove the previous, crack-dealing neighbors out of business.
Occasionally, prior to car shows, the guys will pull some late evenings. We’ll see lights on until 9 or 10 PM and hear a bit of music as they’re finishing their work. Last night, though, was awful. It’s been a long week, with activities every night. I haven’t had a quiet, spend-time-vegging-on-the-couch night in over a week. I got home from the city last night about 10, did a bit of cleanup, made lunch for today, and fell into bed around midnight. As soon as it was quiet, we realized it wasn’t so. Across the street, we could hear grinding metal. It was loud and one of those piercing sounds that penetrates your skull. Sure, living right by the train, we’re used to the late night train horns and the rumbling of the house as the 1:30 and 4:00 AM freight trains tear through town. But they’re relatively quick sounds that I usually sleep through. But this sound was insane. We called the police non-emergency number and logged a complaint around 1 AM and were told it was a busy night but they would try to send a squad out. I fell into an uneasy sleep, tossing and turning. Around 3 AM, when a huge thunderstorm rumbled in, I got up to make sure it wasn’t raining in, and there were still lights on across the street. The thunder was drowning out the worst of the grinding metal, thankfully.
It was an awful night’s sleep, and I’m paying for it today. Next time, I’m going over there myself. The guys are pretty friendly and I would think if I wandered over at 2 AM and asked them to please, for the love of god, stop cutting metal, they would listen? Maybe?