Haunted by music in the head

Imagine

Imagine the music that you hate the most. Have it? All right. Now walk to your imaginary CD player and insert this musical CD. Switch on the player and set it on “very loud” and on “repeat all”. Remember to switch on the Dolby surround system as well. Sit down very uncomfortably in the centre of the room, preferably on a block of ice or a nail board. Sit there for 24 hours. Don´t move. Don´t go to the toilet. Don´t eat. Don´t talk to anybody.

Until 5 months ago, since my diagnosis, I was in this room, listening to Ace of Base for 19 months. Without a proper break. 7 months after the music had begun, when my friend of 16 years let me down, a second tune joined in. From then on I was listening not only to Ace of Base 24/7, but also to Free Jazz, which, for me, is hell. These two different kinds of music don´t go together well AT ALL. Shortly after, my from then on former friend of 19 years tuned in as well, offering Oasis AND Radio Head in a crossover of the genre “Fuckheads joined up for suicidal self-indulging bullshit”.  Fuck me. No, fuck them. Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Oasis AND Radio Head, Oasis AND Radio Head, Oasis AND Radio Head.

In order to keep at least half sane, I had to listen to music that I love REALLY loud, preferably constantly the same music, in this case Eros Ramazotti´s NOI from 7am to 7pm. Then, when the kids were in bed, I switched on the TV and watched my favourite series AND worked at the computer at the same time. At the computer I prepared every single school lesson that I had to teach the following day between 2 and 4 hours to keep my mind focused on something good, something that I had influence on. Then, around 11 pm, I went off to bed, switched on the CD player to listen to the same audio books over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over … again. I woke up between 2 and 12 times, lay awake between 2 minutes and 2 hours, and listened to the same audio book over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over … again.

The next morning I woke up and it was Ground Hog Day – again! Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Ace of Base, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Jazz, Oasis AND Radio Head, Oasis AND Radio Head, Oasis AND Radio Head.

And then? Guess what? 7 am to 7 pm: Eros Ramazotti´s NOI. Then, when the kids were in bed, I switched on the TV and watched my favourite series and worked at the computer at the same time. At the computer …

This held true for every single second of every single minute of every single hour of every single day of my life for nineteen months. And yet I was grateful for every single one of these moments, because they meant that I was still alive.

And suddenly, five months ago, the sickening music stopped.

Yours, no longer haunted,

Manu Maid.


1 Comment

  1. Dear Maidmanu,

    Thanks a billion for your chemo-tag-along suggestions. I have always felt insecure about what suitable chemo gift to bring my friend to lighten up her otherwise perfectly dull hospital days. I´ve had some ideas myself that I´d like to share with you.

    To play a marvelous game of shadow-doctor you don´t need much. Pick a black, raven-like costume that can be worn by all players not tied to a chemo drip. The dressed up players take turns positioning themselves behind the door. As soon as a doctor enters, the player performs pantomimes of fantasy creatures that must be guessed by the guesser (that´s tied to the chemo drip). The doctor mustn´t notice the charade behind her back. 10 points for winged creatures, 15 points for 4-legged brutes and 20 points for fire-breathing beasts. If discovered by the doctor, the player loses 50 points.

    Rolf Zuchowski sing-along CD´s are great fun to go with the drug-induced, colorful hospital walls. Is there anything more cheerful than the good-old “Weihnachtsbäckerei”? You might even pick up some German as a lovely side effect. You´ll never forget what a “Knilch” is after belting it out to nurses, doctors or unsuspecting visitors.

    Also, you should always carry an electronic device with a camera function. A chemo drip offer endless opportunities for suffering pictures that will impress your friends and family. Whether it´s the classic “swan with cannula”, the more modern “greek musician in hospital gown” or the radiant “chemo halo”, the fun is never ending. Try a Polaroid camera for the nostalgic touch! And don´t forget to let your visitors strike a pose as well. You´ll be surprised how ailing even an untrained model can look with the right accessories.

    I´m looking forward to your next posts, Maidmanu. They are always intensely thoughtful pieces of fun!
    Love, star

Leave a Reply