“There is no crack or gap through which the sound does not seep…”
So said the voice inside my head, over and over, like some sort of mantra, or a strange lullaby I was invoking in an attempt to send me to sleep.
Clearly, it hasn’t worked.
It’s almost 3AM on a Tuesday morning and I am wide awake. For the last four nights, I have tried in vain to shut out the noise that rises up from the streets below—the amplified sounds of not one, but two different bands, each playing a strain of rock music I might once have told myself I enjoy. Not anymore. Everything I once loved about music, I am quickly growing to hate. Every note, every throbbing bassline, and every goddamn fucking guitar lick is like a knife through my brain. I am so tired. I just want to sleep. But even with every window closed and a pair of “noise-cancelling” headphones over my ears, there is no escaping the relentless racket emanating from the roads either side of my apartment block.
What’s this all about, I hear you cry. Well, right now, here in Poblenou, it’s their ‘festa major’: a week-long celebration for which the whole neighbourhood is decked out in bunting and the streets are closed off for concerts and processions. “It’s ten nights of silliness and no sleep,” said the woman who runs the bakery downstairs, and has endured twelve years of these festes. Then she shrugged: “It’s for the people, though, so…”
Right now, I wish death on these people—on the musicians for the tuneless dirge they’re producing, and on the local council, who organise these events, for the complete lack of consideration toward the residents and anyone else who might not want to participate in these celebrations—people, say, who want to sleep because they have to work to do tomorrow. Words to write. Kilometres to run. Remember that whole thing about trying to get tourists to show some respect for the locals that I mentioned in my first blog? Yeah, well, that shit works both ways, motherfuckers…
Oh, I know I’m being melodramatic, but honestly, this is my very definition of hell. And before you say well, why not go down there and join the party? I did. Five hours ago. After a while it got boring, and all I want to do now is sleep. Besides, if what I’ve heard is true, we’ve got another six days of this. And on Saturday night—the night before I’ve got to get up and run 10k—the street outside will be hosting the corre foc. I’ll leave you to check out what that is.
Tomorrow, I will wake up after three maybe four hours sleep and go about my day in a fugue-like state, one eye closed as I wander down for coffee. Tomorrow, I will attempt to run five or six kilometres along the beach. Tomorrow, I will attempt to write another three thousand words of my novel.
Tomorrow, I will buy some fucking ear plugs.