Do you believe in karma?
In my younger days I had been known to throw the occasional wild party at weekends. My neighbours weren’t too impressed with this and I took on board what they said; after all, it’s not nice being kept awake. Well, what goes around comes around and I’m certainly getting my share of payback.
The apartment block where I live was not originally intended for use as a domicile, it being a converted sweet factory (when it was in operation, shoppers in the town centre were often treated to a delicious smell of liquorice that hung in the air). Because of its original use, the flats here have enormous windows that must be kept open during the summer months or else it becomes uncomfortably warm. The trouble is that open windows let in sound as well as cool air, and there’s a lot of nocturnal noise around here to keep me from a good night’s sleep.
Early on a Friday evening, young ladies from the neighbouring streets clip-clop like show ponies across the car park on their way to the bars in town. A dozen Bacardi Breezers later, these same fillies cross the car park on their homeward journey with a graceless clip-clip-scrape. There are several late night takeaways around here so a steady stream of returning revellers is maintained. This closing time exodus is usually a mix of heated arguments, shouts of laughter and makeshift karaoke. The bar traffic subsides around 3.00 am.
Then the seagulls come, screeching like they were providing the music for the shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho. They are a permanent feature during the summer months, and for some reason they gather en masse in the car park every morning at around 4.00 am for twenty minutes or so before dispersing. I’m sure one of them says “and hey, let’s be careful out there”, then they leave.
There’s a 24-hour taxi depot across the way and cabbies can keep their interiors in pristine condition by using a coin-operated vacuum cleaner. At five in the morning this sounds like a Harrier jump-jet is hovering right outside my bedroom window.
But, like any good show, the finale is the highlight. The loading bay for the local Morrison’s supermarket is right outside and articulated lorries start arriving as early as 5.00 am, seven days a week. The drivers switch off their audible reversing alerts but there is still a cacophony of noise as engines idle, shutters go up and down, yorkies rattle and pallet trucks trundle. At this point I usually close the windows and suffer the heat, but I can still hear the pallet truck rolling in and out of the trailer, each trip getting longer as more pallets are removed. By the time everyone else is getting out of bed it goes quiet and I can catch up on my own sleep.
Anyone know of a permanent night shift job going?