Are you serious Dave? Really Dave? It’s Monday night! It’s a bloody Monday night!
Not only did I have to work on Tuesday, I left early on Monday with the sniffles and would have much to catch up on. Now I had to listen to Dave, his girlfriend, who I had since discovered was named Danielle and his mate, Pete, rummaging around their apartment at all hours of the morning.
‘Are you gonna eat this rackolamb?’
A thud against the wall, followed by laughter.
‘Who’s gunna fuckin’ clean that up?’
I tossed, turned, rolled, held a pillow over my head, meditated, turned the radio on, counted sheep – nothing, nothing worked. I found sleep only intermittently, until the next noise startled me. The thing is, they weren’t always loud noises, a screen door clicking open, a bag of rubbish dropped outside their door, a guffaw, a CD player opening, a pan placed in the sink, or strangely, the vacuuming. Who the fuck vacuums at 3 in the morning?
The ongoing and unforgiving rustle of Dave, Danielle and Pete dragged on until dawn. When my alarm sounded I gave in, hauled myself out of bed, dragged a hand down my face and yawned. I cursed his name.
It was a crisp morning, with the cool, sharp air slithering through my venetian blinds and poking at me like a thousand soft and tiny needles. Outside, magpies called, a tram dinged and the sky was overcast. It was an otherwise pleasant morning, one I would usually greet with a smile and feeling of ‘it’s great to be alive!’
Voices wafted from below,
‘Oh yeah, fuckin’ roll me one too willya darl,’ I chuckled, ‘darl,’ that was an improvement, why was Dave in such a good mood?
‘Aww, fuckin’ ‘urry up withit wouldya!’ hmm, maybe not such a good mood.
I brewed a pot of coffee and then went to the balcony, curious as to what had kept my neighbours occupied throughout the night.
‘Vince, hey Vince, come grab this,’ hmm, who was Vince? I had not heard his name before. I peered down and saw Vince, dressed in a fluorescent yellow, hi-vis shirt. He placed a box in his van. His van! His van had a trailer on the back! The trailer was stacked! With a lounge suite! A mattress! Chairs! Dave, Dave, is it true? Tell me it’s true! The screen door clicked open and the hinges creaked, a sound that only hours earlier I had found grating was now as sweet as the birds in the trees, when Danielle emerged and trudged down the stairs with boxes. It’s true! It’s true! I no longer needed my coffee, as a surge of happiness burst inside of me. In a sweet, final twist Danielle tripped on the last stair and fell backwards, her proclamation, ‘I can’t even walk on the fuckin’ stairs anymore!’ was met with phlegmy laughter by Dave and Pete. Vince continued to load the truck.
My friends, I tell you, I have awoken to some sweet, sweet mornings – on holidays with a beautiful woman in my arms, seeing the sunrise on the shores of Lake Victoria, bouncing out of bed on Grand Final day or as an overexcited child on Christmas morning. But seeing Dave, Danielle and Pete packing their trailer, with their fold up chairs, half dead pot plants, home brand frozen chicken and 40km/h sign, all the while being unable to do so without a cigarette between their fingers or swearing at each other and then getting the fuck out of my life, will remain as one of my favourite.
I sat back in my chair and watched the motley crew gather their worldly possessions and thanked the lord for such a beautiful morning.
Danielle rolled cigarettes on the back of her sedan and the birds continued their morning songs. Pete cleared his nostrils while a gentle breeze blew. Dave expressed his satisfaction at Vince’s packing skills, ‘You fuckin’ know your shit ‘ey Vince?!’
For a few seconds, a feeling of sadness sparkled inside me, did I need him, Dave are you really leaving? Was Dave the Joker to my inner Batman? No, fuck that! I extinguished that feeling, like a hiking boot on an errant ember, thud!
Sleep would come to me that night, oh yes it would.