The karaoke party started at three a.m.

Maybe it’s my Northern European genes, but my body thinks–nay, truly believes–that it should be resting when it’s dark outside.  I go to bed too early and wake up too early for a part of the continent where people don’t eat dinner until ten o’clock at night.

So it’s a Sunday morning, and even the rain noise in my earphones can’t drown out the racket coming from across the street.

I’ve heard some bad karaoke in my lifetime. I have sung many a song, myself. But this is truly terrible. Some kind of Latin folk music. With tubas. At top volume. At three in the morning. On Sunday.

I wanted to sleep in. At least until  seven.

This isn’t the first time they’ve had this kind of shindig over there.

I have fantasies. What would James Bond do? He’d have some handy-dandy gadget to sabotage the electric power to the house. What about Batman? He’d dash across the rooftops and shoot the speaker with his mini-crossbow.

Unfortunately, I have neither James Bond’s nor Batman’s number, so at four o’clock I concede and get up to make coffee. I decide to watch Netflix for awhile and maybe by the time the movie is finished the revelers will have run out of steam.

I can’t concentrate on the movie. Kate H. and Matt McC. can’t hold my attention over the pounding and yelling I hear even with earphones in.

A few minutes after six, I hear a couple of honks from a siren and then a couple more. The sound reverberates sharply off the walls. I’m slightly amazed; someone has called the cops. (Not me.) The voices carry on, off-key, discordant, loud. Mr. Security turns on the siren and wakes anyone in the neighborhood who might be sleeping through the caterwauling. A few minutes pass and then a shadow appears at the gate. It stands there for a few minutes, talking with the policeman, and then goes back into the house. The music stops, and a voice speaks over the microphone. I don’t understand it, but it is clearly an announcement. Shortly, a young man comes out into the street, wearing a suit and tie, and has a long chat with the policeman. I am on my balcony, listening, but I can’t follow the conversation. Finally the cop leaves, and the young man goes back inside.

There’s another half-hour of loud conversation in the house and goodbyes in the street, and then at last, quiet.

I’ve been thinking that I should learn how to nap.

Today may be the day to begin.




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