When I was a kid, enamoured by Adrian Mole, I used to keep a diary. Granted, I kept a very dull diary, but I always remember my Mum complaining that I'd always cause trouble just to make my diaries more interesting. I never did, but my Mum's harsh words have sometimes caused me to pause whenever something interesting has happened to me since I started this blog.
Such as the last 17 hours.
What happened this morning was genuine, unencumbered by flights of fancy and sadly, necessary. In fact, it's probably stupid of me to relate any of this at all but I have to write it down, if only to clear my head.
It was 3:30am this morning. I was passed out unconscious in bed following the three day Bank Holiday weekend. Work was in a matter of hours.
Suddenly, techno. Loud techno. Actually, if you'll allow me, it was screamingly loud, taking the piss, Fuck all and sundry around us, we're going to crank this up to eleven industrial gabba techno.
In the past, my evil French neighbour seemed to be playing shit music at ungodly hours only for me but now, amidst this rude awakening came a frantic angry thumping from somewhere else in the nearby occupancies.
The music stopped. Then started. Then stopped again. I was by now fully dressed and about to go next door to ask why in the hell my neighbour was back to his old tricks when I'd explicitly warned him that his next 3am bedroom rave would be his last.
There was now Silence. Not even traffic noise outside. I undress and go back to bed, my ears becoming finely tuned instruments as I listen out for the next aural effrontery. But it didn't come. The birds did though, chirping an hour later as I lay there still unable to fall back to sleep. Then blue streaks of dawn came prying inquisitively through my curtains another hour later, reminding me I'd rapidly run out of sleeping time. Following his mere three minute techno selfishness, my Neighbour had left me angrily alert for two hours, unable to go to sleep because I knew what I was going to do.
7am. Radio. My head hurts through lack of sleep, and I'm furious. I'd eventually managed to fall back to sleep at around 5:30am but it wasn't nearly enough rest. I wash and dress and leave my flat.
8:30am. I walk to the neighbouring block where their front door is off its hinges, and walk up to my bastard neighbour's bedsit. There is a fusebox above their door so I switch off the electricity and hear a tinny sound abruptly stop.
I wait. My neighbour doesn't come. So after a few minutes, I bang on the door.
Footsteps, and tinkling keys.
'Oo is zis?'
We've been through this many times in the past and he knows it's me. I'm the only one who seems to confront him. For the first time, he doesn't want to open up.
'Let me in.'
'Oo is zis?'
'Open the door!'
Without really considering what I was doing, I take two steps back then ram into the door. It was borne more out of anger than anything else, yet the barge ended up being hard enough to snap the lock from its frame and break the door wide open. My neighbour yells in shock and falls over. He had been right behind the damn thing, craning his ear to it.
So now I'm in. I didn't really know what I'm doing other than breaking and entering but I have a vague idea, having been in his pit of a room in the past, telling him off on previous occasions. Neighbour follows me into his bedroom. He watches me as I grab a speaker and yank the leads out the back.
'Where's the other speaker?' I snap.
'Zere isn't one.'
Looking around, I find it, plus two older and larger speakers that aren't being used. I snap more leads out. I only have a vague idea what I'm doing, and it's along the lines of walking out with these implements of my despair.
'Can you be quiet? My friend is azleep.'
I look at the bed. Lying prone in the darkness is his roommate, remarkably - or perhaps unremarkably considering their boozing and joints - out cold. I ignore him. There are now four large speakers I've piled up in centre of the room. Neighbour walks over and puts his hands out in an attempt to stop me but I'm in the midst of controlled anger.
'Don't!' I pause to bark, an accusatory index finger pointing right at him. And then I kneel down and pick up two loudest, newest looking speakers and walk out.
'Hey!' says the Neighbour. 'Hey!'
I walk downstairs.
'What are you doing? Hey!' He follows me.
'Fuck off.' I snap.
A Polish resident from the flat below is leaving for the day and is walking ahead of me, grinning. He knows why I'm here and what this is all about.
'3am', I snap at him as if that's all that needs to be said, and we all head outside.
'Hey!' says the neighbour as I walk through the wide open front door, genuinely having no idea what I'm about to do. So I stop. I was going to walk off to work and decide what to do with the speakers on the way but as I see a wall, I change my mind instantly.
Raising a speaker above my head, I hurl it at the wall and smash the unit. It's sturdy as hell and only splinters slightly, so I pick it up and throw it again. Seeing a nearby shelf leg, I pick it up and thrust it into the bass cone. Satisfied that it will no longer sound pleasant enough to play music quietly let alone at full volume, I pick up the second speaker and aquaint it with the bricks, and with the shelf leg.
'Zank you,' says my neighbour sarcastically. 'But what about zis?'
He points to his forehead. When I barged the door open and inadvertently made contact with his head, it had left him bleeding. It was a tiny superficial wound, more a dot than anything gushing, but it was accidental. In the melee, it transpired that all I really cared about was rending his music totally and utterly mute beyond 10pm and now that job was done. Hopefully.
I approached him. I was totally controlled but well aware that this wasn't sporting behaviour. I don't like confrontation at the best of times, and this had been fairly confrontational. My voice was shaking through the shock and exertion of it all.
'I warned you,' I said as calmly as I could to his face. 'I damn well warned you that this would happen, and now your speakers are fucked.'
His face contorted. If he was going to take me on, it would be now, but he didn't do anything but grimace.
'If this ever happens again', I said, 'you're next.'
This was total rubbish, of course. Despite the the door/ head issue, it was never my intention to hurt him. Destroying those speakers ended up being vigilante justice enough but beating him up? That's blind thuggery. That's another world. That's really not me.
No small measure of panic.
By the time I get back to my satellite London town, I sense that this issue may be over.
I walk into the newsagents on the high street we all live above to try and gauge what's been happening. The newsagent claims not to have heard anything, but he knows I kicked a neighbour's door in.
'How do you know it was me?' I ask, genuinely intrigued, but now the newsagent is stuttering and worried about what he may give away.
Oh no, please, not me, I'm not one of those guys. I'm a normal Joe! I'm like Michael Douglas in 'Falling Down', but without the guns or the actual mental issues. Sensing I might be scaring the newsagent, I leave to go home.
And then, as I walk out, three burly policeman walk past me and into the next door restaurant. I watch as the coppers walk through to the kitchen at the back, the kitchen that leads onto the alley where I live, where I had earlier hurled speakers at walls.
I'm not going home. No way.
So I keep walking until I get to a pub. And there I stay, nursing an unwanted yet nerve steadying pint and sending frantic texts for an hour, until I'm sure that any statement taking policemen, if indeed that's what they were doing, have gone.
I go home. No-one's outside, so I run upstairs and into the safety of my flat where I'm typing this frantically.
And that, your Honour, is exactly what happened. I'm really sorry. I was pushed.