Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sleepless

There's nothing like a broken night's sleep for feeling hateful. 

At 2.30 on Saturday morning a karaoke party woke us. We lay listening to drunk girls belting out anthems until 4. Finally we slept, until 6.30 when a dawn rave broke out downstairs. It was quite unbelievably loud. 

I went to the window. Next door's bijou barbecue looked like a junked robot in the morning light. A girl was prancing about on the flat roof below, cheered on by out-of-sight male voices. Furious, and having only a phone in my hand and not a gun, I took her photograph. 

From the alley at ground level a man's face looked up at me. I scowled at him and shrugged interrogatingly. "I'm police," he said. "Will you come down and talk to me?" He held up his ID and I said I would meet him out on the street. I took my phone with the picture of the girl so that we could prosecute her for brattishness and having no consideration for people who are sleeping and have to work the next day. As I left the window I could hear the policeman shouting something at the people on the roof. 

I walked around the empty block but couldn't find my way into the alley. The music stopped. It was quiet. I went back to bed, lay listening to a Jeeves and Wooster radio programme entitled Joy In The Morning and eventually slept again. 

My rancour toward this total stranger lasted all of the rest of yesterday. To deliver my internal rant more effectively I christened her Julia. In my imagination she had been caught and prosecuted. The scene was a municipal building - maybe a police station or court house. Julia cried. She apologised and put on her best voice to explain that it had just been thoughtless fun.

I was scornful and implacable. I told Julia that she deserved what she was going to get, which realistically would probably only be a caution or a fine. I said it would teach her a lesson in her over-privileged life to not always have her own way. Did she think that she could simply do whatever she wanted? Julia's transgressions, of staying up all night (probably) taking recreational drugs, being inconsiderate of sleeping people and showing off in front of boys, were considerable. She deserved the harshest penalty and my deepest derision.

So right but yet so wrong. My inner Melanie Phillips, yesterday risen like a Jungian archetype, has now subsided. Julia is safe, if not exactly forgiven. But the next time my neighbours play techno in the early hours I will report them immediately to the landlord, the council noise team and the police. I have all their numbers in my phone, and I will be taking photographs. 

And by the way, don't football fans talk a pile of utter shit?

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