Monday, October 19, 2009

Alcoholic Self-Sonorous

Last night my neighbor, for the third night in a row, woke me from a sound sleep at 3:15 (Visby bars close at 3:00). I don’t mean he just made a lot of noise coming home. Oh, no! He threw open the windows - onto a small, shared, high-walled, reverberant courtyard - turned on “classic” disco (everything from Janet Gaynor to Prince, all re-mastered to sound like a memorable night at Studio 51 complete with cheering crowds and sparkling sound effects) and proceeded, along with what must have been 5-7 bar-friends, to hoot, whistle, cheer, clap, and bounce up and down as if they were part of that fashionable demi-monde, which I’m sure they thought they were. His girlfriend, familiar from numerous other late-night soirees, must have specialized in hog-calling, back home in Norbotten. She likes to stand in said open window and howl into the night, just to let everybody know how happy, drunk, and slutty she is. By five o:clock, they had all passed out and silence was restored. Alas, this is not uncommon behavior for Swedes these days, and the summer nights are filled with similar banshee cries and loud explosions. It seems to be what passes for social-life here. The evening isn’t complete until you’ve staggered, screeching through the streets, smashed a few bottles or shop windows to prove that you’re so much more than the conformist drone you appear to be, during the day. Needless to say, what it proves is nothing of the kind.

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