Nature of the beats defeats social delight
Illustration: SImon Letch
IT'S 8.45 on Saturday evening. The wedding formalities have come to an end. Some of the speeches were genuinely funny. Some of the content was agonisingly corny. A few were joyfully wise. The cake has been cut. The requisite photos have been snapped. The bride and groom have negotiated the bridal waltz. The bridal party and the respective parents have joined in, as they must. The MC has finished his work. It's 8.45pm and it is time to go home.
I don't want to go home. I'm not ready to leave. I'd prefer to stay. After all, I'm surrounded by favourite relatives and vibrant friends, both young and old. I haven't caught up with all of them yet. Whenever we're together, there is always raucous laughter and rich conversation. We have such stories to tell each other. There are still jokes unrepeated or untold. But it's 8.45pm and I'm unable to stay.
I'm sad and resentful. Time was when a man was free to continue singing and dancing, hugging, laughing and chatting until midnight. When the meal was over I could roam, reconnecting with young and old. But it is no longer possible. The old order has passed away; the new order has come. At 8.45pm, a force will assert itself. Its coming is inevitable. Resistance is impossible. It overwhelms me. I will leave. I must leave.
A beast announces his presence at 8.45pm. Not that everyone thinks of him as a beast. Many of the young, and some of the rest, worship him. But I know him as a thoughtless, heartless, inconsiderate, conversation-destroying beast. I know he has come when his peculiar darkness explodes over everybody and everything. Within his invasive darkness I no longer hear words, not even my own words.
The beast speaks. His speaking is a suffocating, ugly noise. In this dark realm of the beast the noise is a deafening, physical, and relentless weapon. It assaults my whole being. It reverberates inside my head. It rattles my nerves and shakes my soul.
Under this ghastly onslaught there is no further place for those whose enjoyment is in conversation. A joyful communal celebration of family and friends of all ages, has been turned, in the blink of an eye, into an orgy of exclusive noise.
The beast tolerates no other. He dismisses with contempt all who long for a gentler room. Under his dominion, words are meaningless.
While the beast beats me with his incessant and oppressive noise I cannot hear you. I refuse to accede to his demand for my silence. My only recourse, at 8.45pm, is to leave.
This beast has a name. It is DJ.