It’s Sunday afternoon and I intended to spend it writing. In fact, I am right now at my desk, fingers poised, notebook containing story outline neatly folded to my left. Computer on. All chores have been accomplished (because everyone knows there’s no point attempting a task like writing when there’s perfectly good laundry in need of laundering, floors which could be swept, surfaces frosted in dust that ought to be dusted, and cookie ingredients begging to be taken from the pantry and transformed into tasty treats…same goes for homework, special projects, job-search efforts and tax filing). And yet, I am not writing.
Why? I’d like to do it very much. This is a rare state of affairs since really, few things make me as testy, fidgeting, anxious and horrible-feeling as attempting to write stuff. So yeah, I’d really like to do this thing. So, what’s holding me back?
Guitar. Guitar is to blame. My neighbour plays, fairly well I might add. He also bartends. This means afternoons (which are his mornings) are prime shredder guitar axe-wielding deeeeeeer-neeeeer-neerneerneer-buhnowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww time. Fuck yeah. Guitar. Woo!
It buhneeers out his window and doodooloooololloooooos up to the second storey where my apartment is located, and whether my windows are open or closed, whether I have music playing of my own or not, whether what he is diddling is awesome or not, is seeps into my space and makes me a little bit crazy. I could storm down there and pound on his door and tell him to cut the racket out. I could politely ask, next time we pass in the yard, that he maybe practice weekdays before 4 PM, or weekends uhhh, like, never, or something. Or, ask if he might practice with the volume set lower than eleven, or wear headphones or something. In fact, there is a nearly limitless list of options I could choose for working things out.
But, that seems somehow asshole-ish. Like suggesting that his chosen medium of expression is disruptive and needs to be repressed or whatever. Like I’m some fussy neighbour who can’t stand loud music, crying babies, noisy car engines, and people laughing really loud as they walk and talk their way down my street. Like really it’s my problem and not him that’s preventing me from writing this damned essay. Like now that all the chores are used up and the cookies are baked, I’m casting around for one more excuse to not spend the afternoon writing this essay, the one I kinda owed The Nervous Breakdown about four months ago, and which is turning into the albatross, the one from the poem that followed the sailor over open water and haunted not only his days but his nights, too.