| Things that go boom in the night
The screaming that woke me came from across the apartment complex. Unmistakeably domestic. It was the couple that leave their one-bedroom apartment for food and alcohol only. Unemployed, both. I think she might be on house arrest. He worked nights. They were obviously sick of spending so much time together.
Soundtrack that night went something like this: First he'd swipe at
her, then she started a crescendo yell he punctuated with jabs. Fists
struck flesh. He threw the cat. She yowled that he killed it. He threw
her. I did not know these people. Were it not for the cat, I would have
groped for the ear plugs and savored four more hours of sweet slumber.
But I liked the cat. Concern for its fate sent an adrenaline rush through
me with the power of a dozen espresso shots. I lay awake listening to
them destroy each other in stereo as raging winds beat waves of nastiness
against my windows.
The dispatcher gave me a hard time when I called, but who was I to go back to sleep? Police are busy. It takes a while to get through. People are shooting one another, plowing into Stop signs, seducing five year-olds. Domestic troubles are so small. Until they come slamming onto the driveway beside your window, bleeding in the moonlight. That's what my neighbor did. I couldn't see her exactly-- but from the gasping narrative she offered to the stars I determined she had been smacked against something sharp enough to draw blood. It was too much for me to see at 4 a.m. I called the sheriff's office back.
Things that go boom in the night