Normally after a night spent awake, I look back in bleary-eyed wonder about what could have kept me up for those extra 8 hours.
This time, I know.
It’s the people who walk down my street at all hours of the night, talking to the person three inches to their left as if they were three miles away.
It is the heat of the city, which makes me sleep with the windows open, which makes it that much easier to hear all of them shouting to their friends.
It was the douchey douchebags who were sitting on the tram stop in front of my apartment blasting horribly repetitive tap-on-my-brain-with-a-hammer techno music.
It was me furiously dialing the police non-emergency line, scrambling in my brain to come up with the proper way to say in Dutch, “There are two douchebags on the tram stop in front of my house CAN YOU PLEASE ARREST THEM I HAVE TO BE IN WORK SOON.” (Luckily their tram came before the police picked up the phone; I didn’t quite have the sentence fully formed and it would have just been me yelling down the line “EIKELS! EIKELS OP DE TRAMHALTE! VOOR MIJN DEUR! DOE IETS!”.)
It is this pain in my shoulder returning after a three year absence. Can’t say I missed it much, or the havoc that it wrecked on my life at the time.
It is shin splints.
And it’s this song, the chorus of which keeps repeating ad nauseum in my head.
So, if knowing is half the battle, what then have I won?