A couple of months ago I wrote about how the bar in my little street was out of control. I’m going to revisit that with some updated info.
I live in a trendy area that bridges boho and young families, and the bar is… well it’s basically where you go if you want to screw someone up against a wall.
Now I’ve lived opposite this bar for about two years now, every Thursday they have half-price drinks, and every Thursday the patrons of the bar get into a massive amount of fights (proportionally speaking). Somehow the amount of fights hasn’t diminished the popularity of the place. The thing is, like every other normal human who isn’t in college (and we are nowhere near a college), I work on Friday mornings. Which means being woken up at 3AM to a chick screaming her lungs out at two guys fighting to the death with broken bottles really messes with my chi and zen and other things that make me calm. Also these fights tend to die down after ten minutes to re-awaken just as I’m getting back to sleep, until the bar closes at 6, and then my alarm goes off at 6.30.
Essentially, they have deprived me of sleep for the last two years every Thursday between the hours of 3 and 6. So let’s get quizzical: 2 years =730days. 730days/7= 104.2Thursdays, 104.2x3hrs of sleep deprivation=312.8. Now that might not seem like a lot split up like that but let’s say 312.8 hours into days=13 days without sleep. Now as the UN is still trying to decided whether sleep deprivation is torture I cannot in my right mind take the bar opposite to the International Criminal Court. BUT having done a brief web-search, Wikipedia informs me that the effects of 11 hours of sleep deprivation are serious cognitive and behavioral changes.
The experiment was on some poor army boy called Gardner,
“On the fourth day he had a delusion that he was Paul Lowe winning the Rose Bowl, and that a street sign was a person. On the eleventh day, when he was asked to subtract seven repeatedly, starting with 100, he stopped at 65. When asked why he had stopped, he replied that he had forgotten what he was doing.”
Seriously, that is what that bar has done to me over 2 years…. No wonder I’m so incoherent.
On a more serious note the reason that I’m writing about this is because last night there was another fight at 3 AM, I went to my bag and got my ipod out, and slept with the earphones in and the music on, I heard vague noises beyond that, but I drifted in and out of sleep for about an hour. At 4.30ish the club music got super loud and the bass bounced my bed up and down and made my spare change fall off the table, so I got up and had some milk, and read for a while. At 5 someone shut the club door and the street went back to being relatively quiet so I hopped back in to bed and tried to get back to sleep. I could hear people arguing but no actually screeching until about 5.30. Two chicks decided to stand on opposite sides of the street howling at each other and throwing threats. I used to think that girls fighting in the streets were some rare occurrence that guys made up in order to have fantasies about. But it really isn’t, and it is not appealing. Watching two people curse each other to high hell and then gouge at each other with their fake nails is not something anyone aside from the most depraved of psychos enjoys.
So I resigned to the fact I was going to get little sleep and I turned my music back on, though it no longer drowned out the yelling. At 6 I heard an almighty shriek. Followed by silence. Thank Christ, I though, finally someone punched that girl out.
And that is the root of my guilt today. I felt total relief. I thought, I’ll snuggle down and get an hours shut eye before the conference today. But I didn’t sleep. Voices kept me up, blue lights flashed, I went to the window.
Lying in the street was a guy. Paramedics were crouching over him as cops restrained three people, apparently his friends. A swarm of blue milled around until 8AM, the bar was cordoned off, the three friends, one male and two female yelled, and screamed and cried, and sobbed as the police attempted to question them. They spat and tore at the cops with their nails, punched and clawed. The cops continued to ask them questions, attempted to calm them. The paramedics removed the body. And that guy was no longer a guy, just a limp body, lifeless and devoid of anything he was or could have been.
I feel guilty that I didn’t call the cops. Out of habit I try to zone out the noise of fights from that bar. Maybe if I hadn’t that guy would still be a guy, not a lump of meat in some mortician’s morgue. Now he’s another tragic story of wasted youth, a cautionary tale, a statistic, a corpse.
When I left for work this morning the area was cordoned off and the forensics teams had been dispatched, the cops outside my house asked if I’d seen anything, and I told them what I had seen, heard, and what I hadn’t seen.
The cops told me they weren’t surprised, that it was bound to happen one of these days, I mentioned I’d been harassed by people from the bar, nearly mugged, seen fights, heard drunks run in front of traffic. The cop nodded and understated, “it ended badly tonight, at least he died quick, one to the heart, he wouldn’t have felt it for long, not in this cold”.
So that is how my morning went. I’ve tried to give a truthful recounting, and I feel as though I should care more about the dead man, but through the constant aggression emanating from that place, I feel as surprised and as numbed to it as the policeman I spoke to. One dead fool on a drunken night, life goes on. My generation is heartless.