It’s March break in Ontario, and the weather is a balmy 68. Not typical for this time of year. I sip my morning coffee and hear the rumblings of the ocean. Crossing the room, I open my sliding door and hear the birds singing outside. The ocean sounds odd this morning; its usual soft rhythms are jagged and piercing.
I hear the sound of voices, and they’re not the sounds of happy children playing in the sun. Wait a minute: it sounds an awful lot like rap music. It IS rap music. My ocean view morphs into my neighbour’s backyard, his patio door wide open and his questionable taste in music blaring from outdoor speakers. Bloody hell.
My neighbourhood used to be very quiet; mostly a community of empty-nesters and retirees. Then, one by one, those folks moved (probably to Bora Bora or Belize) and the yahoos took over. Any day it’s balmy, they crank up their stereos and play their crappy music so loud my pictures bounce off the walls. Last year, on July 1 (Canada Day), they had a 48-hour party, and throughout all of it played to worst music imaginable. God help me, it’s happening all over again.
Buddy the dog and Clancy the cat are sitting at the sliding door as I type this, looking perplexed. What’s that racket? their eyes ask me. Buddy is especially annoyed; what passes for music across the yard woke him up. Clancy starts grooming. Nothing much really bothers him, except baths and his dog brother deciding to use him as a Frisbee. However, Clancy is intrigued; he’s never heard such a cacophony of noise coming from OUT THERE, the great beyond that he knows as Buddy’s toilet. (Clancy thinks dogs are dumb because they have to go OUT THERE to pee and poo; in utter amazement and a keen sense of superiority, Clancy peers behind the drapes every night to watch Buddy perform his ablutions before bed.)
I wonder how they will adjust to hearing the ocean symphony outside their door, instead of the crappy music of their crazy neighbours. Buddy loves the water, but not to wade in; he loves chasing the low waves as they ripple on the shore . He’s convinced he can catch them with his teeth. (He does the same thing with faucet water, sprinkler water, etc: moving water looks solid to him, and therefore edible. ) Clancy, on the other hand, would die a happy cat if he never saw water again. Like his dog brother, he loathes baths. As a kitten, he successfully escaped the watery grave that was his first bath by using me as his personal Mount Everest, scaling up the front of me and then hitting the summit of my head before jumping off and running behind the couch. (It took a week for the claw marks on my chest and shoulders to heal; it took even longer for Clancy to decide that this new, hairless Mother Cat wasn’t really trying to drown him.)
Sigh. I return to my computer, and review the beachfront properties available in Belize for a fraction of what one would pay in North America. I can see myself there, with my fur babies, enjoying the sweet Carribean air. I see my little hut surrounded by hibiscus and sweetgrass. Oh, the dream of it.
I think I’m going to turn my neighbours on to the steel drum. If I’m to be invaded by outdoor music all summer, I rather it remind me of the tropics and not a couple of dummies with no taste in music.
I leave you with the sweet sound of the steel drum. Could there be any sound happier than this?