This is a short title serves me well to pay tribute to François Truffaut, the French film director and, at the same time, to make a wish I have been harboring for a few months now: that a compassionate soul would do the fifth floor neighbor in. He is a lad who, every day, practices with his instrument. Precisely in this verb, “practices”, is the nub of the issue. He doesn’t play the trumpet, he practices. He is an apprentice and ignores –poor thing!- that as a trumpet player he sucks.
He is a zillion miles away from the group of virtuosos who are born with a treble clef-shaped birthmark on their cheeks. Were Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong or Dizzy Gillespie ever a pain in the ass to their neighbors? I find this scenario not very plausible. Those geniuses used to give concerts with chupa chups melody pops.
Three times we have gone upstairs to give him warning. In spite of the horrible noise around, I feel sorry for this guy.
After all, he is desperately trying to master it. Everybody pursues his own dreams as they best can. His tenacity is praiseworthy. That is the reason why I endure it as best I can and I don’t ask his landlord to kick him out of the flat after smashing the trumpet on his back.
Every afternoon, especially on weekends, he just blows into the mouthpiece and starts delighting us with the “Happy Birthday” song. It sucks so much, he is such a lousy trumpet player, that I myself could even play it with my deaf granny’s foldable metal ear trumpet and not be out of tune at all.
My neighbor is an expert at transforming that popular son into a funeral march, perfect for a burial or a religious procession, with the figure of Christ bearing his cross. Then, he always destroys Andy Williams’ love theme from “The Godfather” but I, instead of feeling your words as the tender trembling moments start, just feel a keen desire to perform a gastroscopy on him with his damned trumpet.
It is at this moment that I stop being aware of the repertoire he hammers away at, since I put in my swimming ear plugs. I counterattack and bang my pots, plates and glasses together in the kitchen sink, imitating Tangerine Dream’s cosmic style. My own roar gets on my nerves so much that I have to stop and keep quiet. I remove my swimming ear plugs. Here he comes with Toquinho’s “Watercolor”. I still have more torments to suffer. Be strong, I tell myself. I start working out in my dining room, hoping at least that his serenade will liven up my squats. The last song is always “Tell me who you are, Child” (Spanish Christmas carol). I also wonder who this child trumpeter who has settled down in my building is.
OH, MY GOD! I HAVE JUST REALIZED! The Second Coming of Jesus Christ! Scripturally speaking, Jesus isn’t going to return quietly.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the TRUMPET of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first”
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last TRUMPET. For the TRUMPET will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed”.
I KNEW IT!!!! THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING! And my fifth- floor neighbor is in charge of the musical entertainment.
Realizing that the Second Coming of Jesus’ trumpet player is living above me does not mitigate my acoustic suffering at all, but it makes me understand better the devastating consequences of the economic crisis for everybody. Including the Highest.