Our neighbour plays the cello. Incessantly. 

There are so many more obnoxious things he could be doing, so it feels churlish to be annoyed by it – but it is constant, unrelenting, and he has never once played a recognisable melody.

Saturday mornings? Playing the cello. Tuesday evenings? Playing the cello. Working from home for four days straight recovering from a tummy bug? Cello cello cello cello.

We assumed, for a long time, that he is a professional cellist – and that the lack of tunes were reflective of diligent rehearsal of his sonorous orchestral parts. But then Jo had a chat with him in the stairwell one day, and he told her he has an office job in Chiswick. (REPRESENT).

I have thought about this at length, and I’ve decided there are only two possible explanations:

  1. He is lying about the office job.
  2. He is keeping a cellist hostage.

I’ve chosen to believe that the second theory is true, and that it is part of a tragic love story, because I live a humdrum suburban life and need to create my own INTRIGUE AND MYSTERY.

In writing this, I have suddenly remembered that my old neighbours in Archway were running an actual criminal scam where they took deposits from people for a room in their flat and then stopped answering calls or the door. The police were entirely uninterested when I reported this, even when it was the fifth time I had a sad new-Londoner on my doorstep with the same tale of woe.

And now I have run out of steam to make up a silly story about cello playing hostages.

Go, instead, to fill your head with another doomed love story centred around string instruments: Burning Genius by Brian Patten. (Scroll down).


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