It is night, -5 degrees outside, and I smoke a cigarette in my apartment because I can.

I awoke to my dog howling at my neighbor, who was also howling. The cops were not howling. They were stern, yet curious. No, not curious. Confused and entertained. I was not entertained, but I was confused. And at 3:30 in the morning, surprisingly not tired any more.

I don’t know why she was howling, my neighbor not the dog, but I do know she was drunk. The officers established this. I do not know how drunk she was, but very.

I have heard fists and plates of spaghetti hit the faces and walls of other neighbors in other cities.

I also feel like I have at times forgotten that I have neighbors, because of their lack of noise. Actually, I think that is a lie. We all have our sounds. One neighbor snores through my walls, another has sex through my ceilings. I do not know what people can hear of me.

I’m cautious. Sometimes I do not want to be heard.

I creep.

I watch my neighbor howling through my peephole, because I do not know what else to do. I do not want to disturb her.

I’m sure I make noises my neighbors also don’t want to disturb. Maybe the noises disturb them, like the sound of a plate of spaghetti hitting a wall did to me years ago.

I wanted to live alone so I didn’t have to be quiet anymore. I have found out that I am more quiet when I am alone.

I can hear my cigarette ash hiss in the cup of water I use as an ashtray. Because I can. I am intimate when I am alone. I don’t hold back my own howling. Or, maybe I hold it inside. Holding it inside makes it grow louder.

I wonder who I am through my walls.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Betty Hall said,

    Hi Chels, This is your Gma talking. Say, I have a solution for you waking up at night and hearing all the commotions that are happening with your neighbors. Your Gpa does it with a little added singing (am glad I don’t always hear it!). The thing to do is to turn your radio on or any other sound equipment you may have handy, get something soothing to listen to, turn it down so it won’t wake up your neighbors, and bingo, you doze off and get some needed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s. Try it for several nights and see what happens.
    your neerdy gma zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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