Friday, 15 August 2008

Weak, yes- but skull remains unsplit

So tired now, after being woken up at 5am by two girls arguing in the stairwell about who had what to drink. My building, which is like most apartment blocks in this area, has stone steps that assist in creating bold echoes. So when someone even talks at a normal level, it sounds booming. I dragged myself out of bed and watched the two girls through the peephole in my door. I can't remember the exact point of their conversation, only the words "double vodka."
But I didn't open the door. And I didn't ask them to be quiet. Because in my mind I saw the prolonged retaliation. They live in the building. I would only be inviting 4am bangs on my door, as well as who-knows-what shoved through my letterbox.
Mine is a consistent reaction among the British to public displays of "anti-social behavior." No one says anything to the kids on the bus who are playing loud and terrible techno music on their phones. Even on the hottest nights I don't leave my window open, because I am only on the first floor and I imagine some clever young jerks deciding to make a game of what they can throw through it. A mother yells at her young son at the bus stop - calls him &%!ing stupid. We are all silent.
My hatred of confrontation fits in well in Britain. The "quiet desperation" that Pink Floyd sings about is the pulse of this nation. We recognize the violence in people, and just do our best to avoid it. We name the groups we despise. We might call them Yobs or Chavs, or, in Scotland, Neds. Ned - non educated delinquent. They come in male and female varieties, but the boys are most easily recognized because they are usually clad in track suits - perhaps with a splash of burberry tartan in the form of a baseball cap - just to finish the look.
For those of an intensely curious nature, try to understand the wee man: but don't listen if you are easily offended.
Would you tell this guy to please tone it down a wee bit?

No comments: