The beginning of November marks the occasion that I finally close my bedroom window and accept that it is no longer a feasible option to ‘let some air in’, though that is what my Jane Austen ass instincts tell me to do. As temperatures drop below forty degrees, I shut up my window and bid goodbye to the soundtrack of drunk people roaming the streets of the Old North End, replacing it with, I don’t know, probably the same Liz Phair song over and over and over again. But really, the sounds of those people and their nonsense 3 AM confabulations– irreplaceable.
My window stayed open every night throughout the summer. Partly this was because of a desire to keep up with the weekly post-Honky Tonk screaming sessions broadcasting up and down Pearl Street. And partly it was because my window was completely broken and my landlord’s response to the situation was something like: Bad Day To Be You, Sucker. The bad news about this was that I had no way of drowning out the near-constant summertime darty held by the evil den of lacrosse players across the street. Day after day my housemates and I fell victim to some of the worst kinds of musical torture: some pop-country song about vulnerable women and ice cold beers, played right into a house remix of I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas. Sometimes when the darty went too late into the night they started playing shit almost resembling emo, sad-sack early aughts dude songs verging at times on All Time Low territory, and that was concerning for its own reasons. I remember one afternoon late in the summer they started playing The Clash and I found it so sacrilegious that I thought about walking over there and screaming until they all ran away and drank their Twisted Teas in someone else’s backyard.
But somehow every night my faith in humanity was restored by the piss-drunk pilgrims who made their way past my attic window on their way to or from the bars, boldly proclaiming such provocative wittisms as “God damn, it smells like Winooski out here!” Mankind and its observational spirit at work! The beautiful thing about drunk people is they get really loud, and really stupid, and they have no awareness of either one. One night in July a group of guys was wandering around outside my window discussing their economic futures. Around 1 AM, I overheard one future Bloomberg’s plan for financial greatness: “Well, yeah, I invested all my drug money, man. Cause like I read this book on, like, investing, and I was like lowkey this is the future. So I invested all the money.” His friends shared concerns: “Invested in fucking what, bro,” one inquired. “Your ass did not read a book,” another argued. A meeting of the minds!
Some nights I really got to the core of things, real Dark Night of the Soul type shit. At 2:27 AM on a Saturday in August, the silence of evening was broken by a loud shrill, and then: “WE ARE NOT FUCKING GOING TO AHLI BABA’S.” The sound of screaming in general is actually pretty common, but I try to appreciate it as an honest expression of the human condition rather than worry about the possibility that someone is getting murdered outside my window. Like the time on a Monday night in September I was getting ready for bed and then heard this: “I am going to fucking skin you alive” (Scream). It’s like, okay, tell me how you really feel!
I learned a lot from these drunken travelers. I learned that some people had serious mice problems in their kitchen and that no matter how many traps they set the little fuckers kept coming back and shitting in the sink. I learned that a lot of people wanted to call their exes and a lot of other people thought that was probably not the greatest idea right now actually. I learned that the skaters really love each other when they’re blind drunk and the facade of the half-pipe has been stripped away. And I heard a lot of singing– singing so incredibly bad that it became, honestly, straight up exquisite, y’all! Long live drunk people out the attic window. You guys keep me young.