My bedroom window faces onto the main road, always busy with vehicles and humans of different kinds, making noise. I find this soothing; it’s like the song of life, a perpetual static or white noise that gets drowned out as you get used to it. I sleep through the waking of the city every morning. Like a baby.

This morning was different, though. As the undefined blackness of my slumber reconstituted itself into the solid shapes of reality, the first thing I was aware of was the pain in my head, made worse by the incessant high pitch I was completely unfamiliar with. No horns, no shouting, nothing to assure me that I live in a busy urban centre.

What is this bullshit?

I opened the window and looked out. Not a soul in sight. No cars, nothing. The high pitched noises piercing sharply through my head soon became identified as the birds.


In trees.


My anxiety rapidly intensified. What if there’s been some kind of zombie apocalypse? Or the rapture! Have I been left behind?

I wandered outside, still in my pyjamas, and stumbled down the street towards a sort of distant muffle that I could just about make out as the sound of human activity. Not a zombie in sight.

Eventually, I found the source of the noise; a small pub was packed tightly with people wearing matching t–shirts and occasionally shouting in unison. They were blocking up the entrance as well as the area out front, so it was impossible to see what the fuss was about. I tapped one on the shoulder and asked what was going on.

“Just watching the match, mate.”

Not knowing much about this sort of get–along, I decided not to enquire further. Sports have always been quite intimidating to me, ever since school. The extensive physical exertions and unnecessary shouting would usually cause me to have a panic attack, and my ambivalent attitude towards winning commonly frustrated my team–mates.

Instead, I decided to take a walk around the deserted streets. It was quite pleasant.