Above us, in our Moscow flat, devil child still torments us, while sex man below us is still busy. Devil child rolls her glass ball along the floor above us. It rolls along their wooden floor sounding like a ball rolling across glass a table while you lay under it, when her ball reaches the far side of her flat, she screams with joy at the top of her voice and then runs across her flat in her shoes, to get her ball and back and repeats this process until well after eleven at night, most nights. I recently went upstairs to confront her parents about it. Her father was standing outside his front door, he had a fat belly, stretched t-shirt, a beer in one hand and fag in the other. When I asked him to keep the noise down, he just smiled and ignored me, so much for my macho tough image. Our other neighbour below us is very sexually active, I often travel in the lift with a different girl of his, going up to my floor, she gets out I go up one more floor to my own flat, knowing the night will be noisy again. In our flat, we often lay in bed at night to hear the pleasant sounds of his bed banging against the wall below us. The banging starts off slowly then gets faster and faster, finally reaches a climax of banging as he shoots his potion into another dumb girl, stupid enough to join his sex factory. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to have a concert above us, below us and next door. Screaming devil child will be rolling her ball across the floor above us, while sex man is pounding the wall below us. To make matters worse, sometimes another neighbour next door to us will decide to drill holes at eleven thirty at night. Drilling holes is a Russian national sport and taken very seriously here. They drill holes even if they don't have any holes to drill. They simply love drilling. Last week, we had all three noises, I took two Valium pills and payed for silence and for a room, in a secure facility, far far away from here (1).
My kid wakes up several times at night demanding the toilet, water or both, so solid sleep is all but a distant memory for me, my wife snores heavily next to me exhausted from her work. She does not wake up and wears ear plugs. Maybe I should copy her example but then I would not hear my kid. Soon our family will increase by one, so I am getting ready for endless nappies, feeds and hope my first kid does not try to put the baby into the dishwasher. Night noise will consist, of sex man, devil child, drilling and baby screams. Note to self: start drinking lots of vodka for breakfast, lunch an dinner. Life here is often surreal and seeing the funny side is absolutely vital to survival.
What will 2012 bring for us all, the world over? More of the same shit or better shit? Perhaps mankind and womankind will find a way to be nice to each other, there will be world peace and an end to all dictatorships, an end to Russian corruption and an end to world poverty and famine? I doubt all of these things will happen but we can hope people in the world can learn to be nice to each other and to make the world a slightly better place for us all.
My personal hope is for all countries to actively try to pollute less and stop using coal fired energy plants, an end and an alternative to oil dependence. I hope our world economies improve, I hope dictatorships end, I hope all terrorism ends, I hope for an end to free market policies, I hope I win the lottery, I hope devil child and sex man move home. Not much to ask for but we must be positive and hope for the best in life or there is no point in living. Ultimately, hope is all we have.
(1.Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs).
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