Tales of the Unexpected

There’s no appropriate photo for this post. Here are some radishes.

Yesterday night, I was going to write a post about my upcoming new flat. I thought I’d take a quick look at the contract, before realising that my folder of important documents was at work. Eh, thought I, I’ll write the post tomorrow; besides, it was late, and hot, and time to sleep in order to prepare for whatever enormous pile of random tasks awaited me the following day. The air outside was fresh from the rain, so I opened the window and got into bed.

About half an hour into dozey pre-sleep, I heard a ferocious yell outside my window. Someone outside, some crazy bint, was screaming her lungs out right below me. I have never heard anything like it; she was roaring so loudly it began to sound like her vocal chords were starting to shudder loose and snap. She was beside herself about something to do with a flat, or someone, or life, or something, but either which way she was completely and utterly livid about it, whatever it was. She screamed, and screamed, and screamed.

After she had been doing this for about 45 minutes, she calmed down and left. No, of course she didn’t!! She just kept right on going and by this point, I wasn’t the only one getting narked about this completely flabbergasting nighttime craziness. The neighbours in the flats on both sides of the street begun to fling open their windows and SHHHHHH loudly, and then shortly afterwards they joined in the yelling, their message being “HALT DIE KLAPPE!!!!” (“SHUT IT!!!!” – although some other choice words were included, which I daren’t mention). 

Finally, after about a full hour of communal rage, the woman stopped and everything damply settled down. After a half-hour interval for ice-creams and peanuts, however, the maniac began screaming again, the exact same incomprehensible message as before. I began to miss my usual shouting homeless guy; he at least knew when to call it a day. I lay miserably in bed for ages praying that she would finally choke on her own lungs and stop, which she eventually did.

Just in time, then, for the enormous ‘Europcar’ freighter lorry which thundered along the road and stopped – engine running, of course – directly outside my building. Some jovial young lads hopped out of the cabin, gleefully slammed the doors in celebration of it being TWO IN THE FREAKING MORNING, and skittered up my building’s stairs to be let in by – no, please not her – oh god it is – my neighbour. She is a life-loving aged hippy who never seems to sleep, so it is only natural that she should invite some lorry drivers over for a few early-morning beers and a loud banter directly next to the wall by my bed. They had a brilliant couple of hours of social fun, while I had an interesting time contemplating why on earth these people would ever come together in this way in this building at this time, and simultaneously musing on how unbearably hot the room was becoming. Finally the gang of friends parted ways and the boys found a moment to throw some things around a bit in the back of the van for some gentle sport before then turning on the engine of the van for it to warm up for a nice long time before they thundered away again.

Finally, peace.

Finally, I started to woozily spiral into sleep. I felt my hair preparing to mould itself into the creative shapes it always so loves to form during the night.

And then I heard a creak, a thud, a splinter, and then a crash. In the kitchen.

I discovered the extractor fan hood for the stove lazily hanging from the wall by one remaining screw. There was masonry dust everywhere and kitchen accoutrements knocked insanely over the floor. “Seems about right,” I thought, and carefully wiggled the hood fully off the wall before realising that the cable was bolted behind one of the shelves and was about to bring the entire kitchen down. I gently laid the enormous heavy brown monstrosity on the top of the stove, picked up a bottle of honey as a gesture of ‘tidying up’, then went back to bed. Not that sleeping was any longer even remotely in question.

The following morning, I tidied the kitchen, drank my dust-flavoured tea, and went to work. My important documents folder was not there either. A folder which contained every crucial legal, academic and medical document I have accrued over the last few important years. The folder which any identity thief would have put on the very top of their Christmas list. A folder with irreplaceable things in it. And my new flat contract. And my beautiful prized degree certificate. I had lost it; like a cretin.

Well, to cut a long story short, I spent the entire day having heart palpitations about the fan hood and the folder and the contract and my moronic idea to pack beetroot in my lunch and then wear a new white shirt. I chewed my way through about five packs of gum because I was so tense that I would have otherwise have ground my teeth to a powder. At the end of the day I practically teleported myself out of the building by my pure stress-energy.

I had gone into a couple of supermarkets on the way home the other day – perhaps I had left it there? “Has anyone handed in a green folder?!” I asked the dead-eyed woman in Kaiser’s, who told me she had no idea and to ask the cashier. I asked the cashier, who said he’d go and get someone who might know, and went and fetched the dead-eyed woman, who reiterated that she still didn’t know and I should ask the other cashier. I asked the other cashier, who looked concerned and immediately fetched someone to help, namely the dead-eyed woman again, at which point I decided to leave.

In the bio-supermarket an incredibly camp man in neon orange trainers and a green apron told me he’d find someone who could help me, so I braced myself for him to return with the woman from Kaisers. He returned, however, with a kind and beaming woman, holding a green folder that appeared to have a halo around it. 

Pardon me. I need to lie down for a while.

Rose T