He drifts around the city, X tells me, from pub to pub, in search of a pub without music, trying to block out the conversations and the noises. He wonders if he feels sorry for himself. Is this what feeling sorry for yourself is? Meanwhile there’s the noise, he says, this noise, it’s unbearable! It bounces off him, he bounces off it, he’s all noise, nothing but noise. His ears hurt, his brain hurts, he can’t hear himself think. Is there anything in this city that doesn’t make a noise? Cars, lorries, birds, crying children and shouting women, creaking doors and creaking bikes, saws and jackhammers, stupid conversations and stupid music, above all stupid music, he says. Hell is other people’s music, he says. He can’t hear himself think for all the noise.


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