Tuesday, August 02, 2005

days of our lives

Late at night when it's very still I can hear sounds wafting in from other homes. The clink of dishes being put away in the kitchen, snatches of familiar songs I used to play on the piano, canned laughter on someone's TV. Ambient noise that's sometimes better than listening to music in your room, made of sounds that are full of sentiment and warmth. That is, until the lady starts up. The one who screams bloody murder while she's having sex. This is terrifying and hardly arousing. It doesn't give the kind of forbidden arousal you get from lying awake in the middle of the night listening illicitly to your college roommate having sex in your room. Her screams start out kind of muffled, mixed in with all the other happy homey sounds, subtly enough that I pause in whatever I'm doing and tilt my head towards the window, wondering if I heard right. And a few minutes later, in a rising crescendo, this woman starts shrieking as if she's getting hacked to pieces by a mob with a steak knife. Sometimes this lasts for over an hour. Now I'm all for people having wild and randy sex. But if you've ever heard a person being hacked to death repeatedly night after night, then you will know the true meaning of psychological torture. There is no solution to this either. There are dozens of condos in my neighborhood that are within earshot, any of which can house this serial monster. How do I call the cops? What do I say? What do I say without sounding like a grumpy old lady? Instead I've chosen to grin and bear it. But at times I find myself staring at the many balconies that face mine trying to locate the source and imagining what else is going on behind their doors. I've narrowed it down to Mr. Peacock in the conservatory with a candlestick. I'm investigating a murder, except that this murder takes place on a regular basis, with the same weapon, used on the same woman, and I think I've just about had it up to here.

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