Make it Stop

Earlier this week the jarring chatter of a concrete cutter woke me from my dozing reverie.  Groan … What is that?  At this time of the morning.  Make it stop!

What’s the point of setting the alarm for nine if the Council is going to start their machinery at eight thirty?

Not thinking a call to the Council would be well received, much less a threatening scowl at the big man in the fluoro jacket at the roadside, I closed my curtain again and checked my Facebook while the concrete cutter cut on.  Suddenly I realised my earworm had gone.  My wife calls it that, although I think of it more as a brain invasion, with its own associated concrete cutter.  That tune has occupied my brain with its sweet noise, like a neighbour’s stereo at 3am, since 3am the day before last, it seems.  But suddenly it’s gone.  One concrete cutter shocked out of residence by another.

Oh, no, wait … it’s back again.  My sudden realisation of an empty-head has invited the damn tune right back in again.  I draw my curtains again, hoping the roadside concrete cutter will displace the inner one once more.

It’s a pretty tune … that’s not the point … but … stop thinking about it!  Make it stop!

Unlike my crisis tunes, which are prized.  Does anyone else have crisis tunes?

Crisis management began for me in my final year of school.  At the end of couple of days of studying (one had not the skills in those days) and a fortnight of Bursary exams, I remember escaping to the top field and lying back luxuriously on the grass, gazing luxuriously up into the blue sky.  Such delight, such flight, after such suffocating masochism all fortnight in the exam hall.

I’ve done that many times since, post-crisis; and I’ve bolstered my toolbox with pre-crisis things like music, squash and guitar – the commonality in the second two apparently the wild thrashing of hands and arms, racquet and pick – all guaranteed to purge any built-up lactic acid in the brain cells.  Works for me.

And in case a reader would like to sample my medicine, my particular crisis musical infusions are Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Diamond’s Jonathan Livingstone Seagull.  Stomach-calming, firmament-soaring masterpieces that, now I think about it, involve a certain frenzy of hand waving and thrashing too, if more disciplined.  Conductor-like.  Risky when you’re driving though.  But wonderful before a big test; or a wedding.

Oh, yes, there are some things one wants stopped – tooth-drilling, headaches, late night parties, earworms, political blather, memories of the 2007 Quarter Final …  Cowering in a bath or basement, head covered, in the middle of a hurricane …
Concrete-cutting at 8.30.  Getting to the end of pointless blog articles.
But other things, one wants to go on and on.  The trick seems to be to displace the one, fuel the other.

I shall take my own medicine now.  Stopping typing.  The machinery out there is silent.  The neighbours seem to have gone to bed at last. The earworm … no! … is back.  Putting the 1812 on.

Sweet relief.

Ken F

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