Dan Kang

Sounds Inside a Hostel Room at 5am

I woke up and I can’t fall asleep and I’m not sure whether I’ve suddenly become accustomed to 5 hours of sleep (hallelujah, praise the Lord!) or whether it’s jet lag even though I swear jet lag never affects me and I’m usually always able to sleep like a baby.

Since I can’t sleep, I’ll write. I’m in a 6 bunk bed room, which means that there are at most 5 other people here with me. I’ve only seen 3 personally, so that means that the bunk above me and the bottom bunk of the other 3-story bunk structure could possibly be empty but there’s no way to check unless I climb down the ladder, slowly, making sure not to make my bed creak too much and then what would I do anyway, walk over and feel around for people? Why would I even do that?

The most consistent sound in the room is the regular breathing of a certain backlit, half-opened laptop. The fans whir, the fans stop, and it’s like it can’t make up its mind as to whether it is too hot or not.

In second place is some guy, exhaling and inhaling, making enough noise that it’s audible but not enough that I would call it snoring. There was someone, I think the guy below me, who would sometimes give a sudden start in snoring and then stop. My dad does this sometimes, where he sounds like he’s choking to death in his own sleep but it’s just his weird way of snoring and I used to worry about him but now I barely think about him at all. That last part is kind of sad, but alas, that’s what happens when you separated from the age of 5 and the only communication is a phone call now and then again.

Now there are some people talking outside. It bothers the guy in the bed with the laptop, and he makes a pained noise as he stirs in bed. I wonder what people are doing outside at 5am. Maybe they’ve been drinking all this time and they had a jolly good time and now they’re sauntering back home to catch some much-needed shuteye.

Mr. Inconsistent Snore is snoring again. Oh, and he stopped again. By far the loudest noise is my fingers click-clacking on the black keys of my MacBook. I think I’ll stop.