Monday, September 16, 2013

Class-Driven Insomnia

Woke up at 3:00 AM to the sound of a gaggle of slumming suburbanites loitering outside The Roxy next door; guys swaggering and girls skanking like they were posturing for a Maxim photo op, blaring inane trivialities at each other at at least fifteen decibels louder than necessary for people a few feet away to hear. Typical late-night Roxy patrons: freaks from Portland's “alternative lifestyle” scene, bedecked fashionably in flamboyant sexuality and hentai-club clown gear, mingling with suburbanite Forever 21 whores escorted by their thuggish Eminem look-alikes with their pants down around their ankles and paleolithic vocabularies — more than half of them under the influence of something. The sort of shit-kicking imbeciles who think they're “being Portland” when forking over $8 for a burger that tastes like coast guard rations accompanied by fries the flavor and texture of talcum powder; food that can soak up a third of a bottle of Tabasco™ and a quarter of a bottle of ketchup and still not register on the palate.

The owners of that benighted greasy spoon make no effort to rein in their patrons. Not only that, but though our city has laudably strict noise laws, the cops won't show up even if multiple local residents call in to complain; but if any of the aggrieved were to go outside and confront the malefactors a fight invariably ensues and within minutes those sworn to serve and protect will be stuffing people in the back of their cars, of course not those who caused the altercation in the first place.

While The Roxy patrons are the worst by far, Stark Street is an night-life arterial of cacophony, emanating from Yuppies and prom queens leaving Jake's, middle-aged career burn-outs suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome disgorged from the Crystal Ballroom's '80s dance night, and obnoxious faeries and queens preening themselves at Scandals, the gay bar a couple doors down, who seem to think embracing a self-absorbed in-your-face “culture” is the path to societal acceptance. Just to name a few. Then, after tipplers have been kicked out of the bars and trailer-park gastronomes are finished stuffing their guts full of self-loathing at The Roxy, street sweepers and trash trucks trundle, wheeze, screech, and clang down the street in a diesel parade until between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM on some days! Not to mention random occasions of tweakers and crack heads beckoning their dealers in the nearby roach hotels, street couples engaging in Jerry Springer relationship therapy, and nutters bellowing out their Tourette epiphanies. To summarize, it sucks living downtown; there's nothing that can be done about it, except maybe to close all windows, wear rifle-range ear protection, and bury oneself three feet deep in comforters — and hope to survive suffocation and heat stroke.

In all honesty, it's not like this every day, but often enough to frustrate a healthy sleep routine; especially during summer when it's 60°F at 3:00 AM and it doesn't rain for weeks at a time. As it cools down and the rain returns people will drink inside or at home and not care much for bundling up beneath umbrellas, and we locals can close our windows without waking up in a toaster oven that smells like the bottom of a laundry basket.

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