Last night a cricket chirped outside my window. Not the sweet little chirps that compose the symphony of a summer evening. It was a loud, grating chirp, one that (I can only assume) comes from a very large, very moody cricket. Perhaps it couldn’t sleep either. Perhaps it was fulfilling some sort of Jiminy complex. Or perhaps it was just doing its job.
The reason for its relentless chirping is irrelevant. The point is that it was, to say the very least, unbearably annoying. I laid awake, contemplating how to rid myself of my chirpy little friend, laughing out loud at the mental image of me traipsing through the yard trying to frighten something I couldn’t even see. With my luck, he would silence himself long enough for me to think I’d been successful. Then he’d start up again just to be spiteful.
Then I realized: there are people who pay money for this. Stores like Brookstone and Sharper Image have made small fortunes on sound machines that mimic the sounds of the great outdoors in an effort to help consumers fall asleep more quickly and effortlessly. I smiled, thinking how ironic it was to be listening to the live version and praying it would terminate itself. Because when it’s live there is no slow fade-out. There is no automatic shut-off. And you can’t unplug it.
At some point he must have moved on as insects are wont to do. Fickle things. And I’m a happier, better rested person for it. But I can’t help wondering whether it’s luck that I have my own live sound machine outside the window or just bad karma.