It’s the middle of the afternoon and for the last four hours a dull bass thud thud has pounded through the floor from the downstairs, punctuated occasionally by a bit of auto-tune ‘singing’ piercing through the pulse. (In case you’re reading this and you don’t know me, I’m not actually a granddad, I am only 28. And although the concept of gardening appeals to me I don’t actually partake.)
The racket keeps stopping and starting at points unrelated to the content of the music, as if someone is listening to the first minute and a half of a song then skipping to another one. Perhaps it’s supposed to be some sort of mix, but I’m sure it doesn’t qualify. The musicality is questionable at best. Bloody kids.
Actually I think the neighbour is older than me, but he obviously hasn’t got anything else to do. When he’s not banging on the tunes, he is throwing old furniture into the garden. The view out of my living room window includes an old mattress on an over-grown lawn. To top it off, a cat/dog/fox thing has done a nice big shit all over it. There is nothing more unpleasant and suggestive of sordidry than a shit on a mattress. If you don’t believe me, come on over; we can look at it together.
The annoying music might not be coming from downstairs, but from the new neighbours in the next building. They are relative outsiders and don’t know our local customs. They have parked their car on this side of the road. Tsk; we don’t do that. The road is too narrow, so everyone parks on the other side of the road. Perhaps we should form a committee and run them out of town. Go back to where you came from – somewhere with a wider street where it’s not a minor nuisance to park cars on either side. Your ways are not our ways. Etcetera, etc, &c.
I could continue this curtain-twitching and go through all of my neighbours; ascribing them with made-up personae, then unfairly condescending, as I have been doing. In the time it took me to write the last long-winded sentence I have decided that this is not the best way to spend one’s time.
I don’t know the neighbours. The experience with the dying cat under the hedge means I’m now forced to say good morning to some of them, simply based on that one shared unavoidable event. Compassion for an injured cat, and the struggle to get it into a box and take it to the vet, has committed us to passing pleasantries for as long as we all shall live. Not such a bad thing, in fact not a bad thing at all, but it does mean that when I go out I have to concentrate and can’t just daydream and steer on autopilot.
Stop. And so has the music.