Thursday, May 14, 2009

Music of the Night Early Morning

I am going insane. Or more accurately, Allah is driving me insane. No, that's not true - it's Allah's henchman who is driving me insane. Yes, it is our neighbourhood muezzin who is driving me insane. And if it isn't our neighbourhood muezzin per se, it's whoever it is who pops the Call to Prayer cassette into the tape deck of the mosque around the corner. And presses play.

Confused? Welcome to my world. I'm not very coherent these days because I am going insane and regardless who the guilty party is, the simple fact is that I am not sleeping.

Until a week or so ago, it wasn't a huge deal, that 5 a.m. Call to Prayer. I heard it, I rolled over, I fell back to sleep. But now that overnight temperatures are hovering around the high teens, Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad and I are retiring with our windows wide open and our sleep is being invaded by the music of the night. Or early morning. And Lord Thundering Jesus, isn't that pre-dawn wake-up call a doozie! To say that it's a is-it-live-or-is-it-Memorex? moment would be the Mother of All Understatements. Imagine that the cat at the foot of your bed is purring louder than usual. Now imagine that your cat is really God, and he's standing at the foot of your bed with a megaphone in his hand, screaming into it. Wakeup! Getup! Wakeup! Getup! Wakeup! Getup! Loveme! Praytome! Loveme! Praytome! Getup!

Now, thanks to whoever it is who pops the Call to Prayer cassette into the tape deck of the mosque around the corner and presses play, falling back to sleep is, in a word, impossible.

Besides jarring me out of a good night's sleep, the 5 a.m. Call to Prayer also has the unwelcome affect of waking up Izmit's colony of seagulls - some 2 million strong by my reckoning - as well as the city's entire population of feral cats and dogs. In fact, it's fair to say that pretty much everything is awake except possibly the Faithful. I can tell - they don't have dark circles under their eyes.

Given that Allah must know - he is the Omniscient One - that I have no intentions of pulling out my yoga prayer mat - let alone, hauling my infidel backside to mosque for morning prayers - I can't help but question why this is happening to me, why he is allowing this to happen. And yes, I am taking it personally: two years living in Morocco, the pre-dawn Call to Prayer never disturbed me outside of Ramadan (when pretty much everything disturbed me). In fact, I never even heard it. But then again, there are easily sixty-seven mosques in Turkey for every one I ever saw (or heard) in Morocco. The odds are clearly stacked against me here. Thank God this isn't a Muslim country - I'd never get a moment's rest.

In any case, I believe there's a bigger issue at play here but I can't figure it out. Until then - or at least until I can learn to block out the 5 a.m. Call to Prayer bwhahahahahahahahahaha!, the good people of Izmit will be able to recognize me by the dark circles around my eyes.

By way of closing, I would add that I've always believed that
nothing, including the detonation of a nuclear warhead, could wake Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad from his sleep. Now I know differently. So thanks Allah, for giving me this extra insight, for allowing me to know my husband a little better. Thanks a lot.


kalebeul said...

In a Christian country sympathetic clerics might be prepared to do for the birds what they wouldn't necessarily do for you, but unfortunately the Koran equates acts of cruelty to humans and animals. I think Mustafa Kemal tried to shut up the muezzins but failed. Good luck!

This Cat's Abroad said...

I have no doubt that, thanks to recent events in Turkey, Ataturk is rolling in his mausoleum - not least of all because he can't get a good night's sleep either.