"Hmmmmn.. hmmn.. hmmmmmmnn.. hmmmmmn."
All that was missing was the gnashing of teeth. I tossed and turned. This wouldn't bother me as much if the snoring of fellow hostelers hadn't become such a problem. When I'd wake up early to start my day, it wasn't for having had enough sleep, but because there was no point in trying anymore.
"hmmn.. hmmmmmn.. mmmmmmn."
I put in earbuds and opened the nature sounds app on my phone. The soothing sound of a waterfall. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
"hmmmn.. hmmmn. hmmn."
I turned up the volume.
"HMMmm.. Hmmm. Hmmm."
The waterfall was now loud enough to cause premature hearing loss, but the moan was so guttural it vibrated the bed. I took out the earbuds. Not even Niagara could drown that out.
"Grit-grit-grit-grit", came from the other bottom bunk. I sat up. The moaner's girlfriend was a teeth grinder. What an adorable match made in hell.
"hmmn.. mmmmmnn.. hmmmmmn."
I fell back down on my pillow and stared at the ceiling. For hours, I slept in five to fifteen minute increments. My anger boiled. I hadn't had proper sleep in days. The snoring I had heard over the past couple of weeks was inhuman, but this combination of moaning and teeth grinding was a first for me.
"hmmn.. mmmmmnn.. hmmmmmn"
A snore came from the girl on the second top bunk.
"Are you f-ing kidding me!"
It was a hosteling trifecta. Too bad there weren't any more beds for a representative from the night terrors sleep group.
"hmmn.. mmmmmnn.. hmmmmmn."
The rage. Oh sweet mother of god, the rage.
"hmmn.. hmmn.. mmmmnn.. hmmmmmn"
"zzZZZzzz.. zZZ-hnk-glugk-ghlghl-pfaahh............. ZZZzzz"
My anger finally boiled over. I bolted up and shouted. "Oh my God! Shut The HELL UP!"
All three beds fell silent. "Oh man..." I thought. "What have I become?"
The moaner stirred on the bunk below me then sat up. Maybe wondering what just woke him. Immediately feeling remorse for my actions... I pretended to sleep.
He lit up the room with the flashlight on his phone then moved to the chair by the window. I fell asleep and woke up a half hour later. His flashlight lit the room. He hadn't moved. He just sat there, still and silent. Surely he knows he's a sleep moaner. Somebody must have told him by now. He was probably keeping himself awake to spare his fellow hostelers. I felt bad, I really did, but I also wanted to break his damn flashlight!! What is your problem?! There are people sleeping in here you jerk!! I covered my eyes with my pillow and tried to go back to sleep.
A few minutes went by and I was awake again. The only light outside the window came from a streetlamp glowing in the fog. A new foreign city for me to explore in a few hours, but I needed sleep and the moaner was rustling through his stuff. I noticed the shower running. The teeth grinder's bed was empty. Were they leaving because of me? I rolled over and went back to sleep with a pillow over my eyes.
I woke again from the sound of the door shutting. I looked around the room, their luggage was gone, beds empty. I may have slipped a little closer to becoming an old curmudgeon spending his final years yelling at kids to get off his lawn, but at least I could get three hours of uninterrupted sleep.
The next morning I asked the snorer if she knew anything about our noisy roommates.
"Do you know if they had to get up early for a flight or anything?" I asked.
"Yes," she said in a Brazilian accent. "Last night I hear them talking about having an early flight."
"Oh good," I said. "I thought maybe they left because of me. Did you hear him moaning in his sleep?" She shook her head.
"It was so loud it shook the whole bunk."
I pointed at the other bunk. "And then she started grinding her teeth," I said, leaving out the part about her snoring. "I yelled at them to shut the hell up, and then they got up and left. I feel bad, but I haven't had a good night's rest in..."
"Oh, is that what you yelled last night?" she said. "I just thought you had night terrors."