Okay, so that squirrel problem that I mentioned a while ago. It turned out to be not so much a temporary thing. For a couple of weeks now I've been hearing somethign move around in the walls. What's bad is that this happens very late at night, wakes me up (despite my being a pretty heavy sleeper in general) and keeps me up for some time after. OTC sleeping pills don't really help. Waking up when an invasive creature is rooting around near you isn't insomnia, it's survival instinct.
Yesterday evening I met someone I know at Starbucks. I was feeling kind of burnt and I told her about the situation. She said it sounded like mice or rats and gave me some tips on telltale signs for when they've been in your room. I looked around and didn't find any smoking guns. But I still was edgy about the prospect of trying to sleep through the night. So the plan I formulated was to take a little catnap or two in the evening, stay up for the rest of the night proper, and catch a little shuteye around 5 a.m. If you think this plan has some obvious drawbacks you're right, but I was determined to try it out.
One thing I did in order to stay up was a lot of walking. Which was kind of interesting. This is Providence and not New York, but the city never entirely sleeps. It gets slow at late hours, but if you wait around long enough you see something going on. Being on Thayer St at one you'd hardly know it was after hours. Young adults are out schmoozing everywhere, a lot of bars and restaurants are still open, and the stores that are closed are so brightly lit that you might not notice. Around my neighborhood about three I saw trucks come in for deliveries. So there's action everywhere, even when the crickets get too tired to chirp.
This morning I told the landlord about the rodent problem, having accepted that it just wouldn't end on its own, or at least not while I was still able to function. He said he's pretty sure it's squirrels who found their way in through a hole in the roof. Apparently this is something that's happened before. It's also apparent that I'm the only one who said anything about it. Why this should be I don't know.