Dancing on the high street’s grave
I live in the high street of an average-sized town. I am stuck here because of my situation – private let is out of quesiton (no DSS) and I am still waiting for a council house (no children). On the plus side, I can easily get to the shops, the post office or the Jobcentre. Life here, however, is bleak.
I couldn’t sleep last night: the weather is warmer and the drunks are out. All night long I listen to them shouting, swearing, arguing, singing and relieving various bodily functions, often against the front door of our marvellous listed tenement. It goes on long after the pubs and clubs are closed. The police does nothing. By the time they get here, the drunks have moved on. I can hardly follow them around with live updates to the HQ.
The days are worse. Shop deliveries at four am. Street cleaning at about six o’clock. Neighbours slamming doors at all times. Then, around nine, the high street becomes packed. Nobody buys much – they have tiny bags from the discount shops or nothing at all. Cars passing by with music blaring and happily beeping at their acquaintances. Parents with children: screaming, crying and swearing. Teenagers shouting and swearing at each other. Long-lost friends catching up under my window for half an hour. Boy racers and bikers proud of their machines with modified exhausts that really make the windows rattle.
It will get quieter around five. I will have the only chance of getting some precious sleep – about three hours until the drunks come back out.
If you want to behave like animals, go to the retail parks conveniently located on the outskirts of towns. Take a bus ride, make a day out of it: make some noise. Nobody lives there and nobody will mind you doing that. If you do come to the high street, bear in mind that real people live above the shops and they do have the right to some peace and quiet. I understand it will never be completely quiet here; it’s not a rural area after all. However, a significant noise reduction can be achieved if you behave like civilised human beings.
My only hope is that all this noise is the agony of high street dying. I can’t wait for it to happen.