I woke up suddenly, opening my eyes, blinking, in that confusing period of dual reality when part of your brain still thinks that the dream you were having is real. (UNNECESSARY INFORMATION: In this particular instance, the dream was centered around my sister and I sitting alone in a big house as I blew out the 30 candles on a rather pathetic birthday cake – while sobbing – and observed an oddly shaped plane in Easyjet colours making a nosedive directly for us. It crashed into a nearby building just as the last candle went out, and we were running for our lives at the moment when I woke up. There is absolutely no need for anyone to try to interpret this dream, as my 20s are screaming to a crashing halt in a few weeks and I am not-at-all-having-a-mental-breakdown-about-it-honest.)
I looked around, established where I was, noted the absence of rubble and wreckage, remembered to my relief that I was still a 20-something, and then tried to figure out why I was awake. And gradually, just like so many mornings of late, my brain let go of my dream and allowed me to hear reality – that is to say, the odd version of reality that is my neighbour’s alarm clock going off to the tune of You Raise Me Up.
(The alarm starts at the song’s climax, about 2:28 in this video. It truly is alarming.)
Now, I must admit that my new neighbour has been a joy to live next door to, after the Neighbours From Hell. She lives alone, she has no visitors, and when she talks on the phone she sounds like she understands the concept and isn’t simply trying to shout everything directly to Seoul. The alarm clock thing is, therefore, something I can live with. It’s not her fault the walls are so thin, and I’m sure she would probably prefer not to put up with me speaking French to myself as I do my homework, or playing the guitar when I return home from a dinner involving a few sojus.
However, just because I accept it does not mean that I enjoy it. Who, in their right mind, would choose to be woken from slumber by that song? Yes, yes, I get that she probably chose it for the name, har-de-har-har etc., but as soon as it bursts through my walls and assaults my brain I feel chronically depressed. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the tune of Danny Boy, which is very mournful. Maybe it’s the full-on orchestra and haunting operatic voice. Maybe it’s the fact that her alarm is set to go off a full hour before mine, which makes this whole affair several orders of magnitude more distressing.
But whatever it is, it does not put me in a good place, morning-wise. She lets it play through a chorus and a verse and a slit-your-wrists-in-despair dramatic orchestral section before pressing snooze. Yes, snooze. Not cancel. So of course I snuggle back into the pillow in relief to get the most out of my final hour in bed, and am just drifting off… slowly, slowly… fading away into dreamland… when… YOU RAISE ME UUUUUUPPPPPP…..
And she lets it play through the same lengthy section again, until, just as I am about to call The Samaritans, she hits what I can only hope to be cancel. It isn’t. This goes on for half an hour, at five minute intervals, before she finally gets up and the torture ends. I eventually drift off to sleep, at which point my own alarm goes off.
It is not Josh Groban’s fault, obviously. But you can’t blame me for not wanting to rush out and buy his album…