Perhaps I should back up a bit.
Apartment living has its benefits –built-in playmates for the kids, doormen/porters/handymen, and a somewhat mitigated fear of ax-wielding killer rapists going to the trouble of breaking into my ninth-floor dwelling—but it also has its downsides. The clearly sociopathic gentleman SOMEwhere on our side of the building who has just installed a wind chime, for instance, or our…belligerent neighbors.
A few nights ago, J and I were reading on the couch when we heard a ruckus in the hallway. If you asked me to describe the ruckus, I would say that it sounded like two people screaming, and doors slamming.
I suppose other, better, people would have tsk-tsked the disturbance, and turned back to their books. They would probably also have been drinking wheatgrass smoothies and listening to La Traviata.
Not us. We put down our wine, instantly locked eyes and skittered directly towards the noise. As it turned out, they were fighting right in front of our apartment door. “Well,” I quietly rationalized to J, “if they’re fighting here, instead of in their apartment, they must WANT people to hear them. You know, subconsciously.”
J whispered back something equally ridiculous, and before we knew it, we were doing an actual slow army crawl towards our front door. “What kind of assholes are we?” he asked me. “We’re not! They’re the assholes for fighting in the hallway. Now crawl faster!” I urged him, assholishly.
We settled in, silently taking seats on the floor adjacent to the front door. Another set of neighbors, apparently irked by the noise, flung their doors open and got All Up In It.
There was so much going on at once, it was hard to hear, but from what I understand, the topics covered in the fight included -- but were in no way limited to -- the following:
- pills (type unknown);
- an incriminating recording (Video? Audio? Unclear.);
- overuse of cell phone minutes;
- a Catholic priest;
- internet addiction;
- the actual Jersey shore (not to be confused with Snooki & Co.);
- a possible lover in San Clemente;
- a van; and
- the inappropriateness of “one half a couple sleeping with a cell phone in her pants.”
We WANTED to get up and ignore it, but really, I’d like to meet the person who can just WALK AWAY from eavesdropping on such an argument. Mystery Recordings! Cell phone etiquette! THE CLERGY. Come on.
It went on for quite some time, and around the half-hour mark, J was all, “this shit’s intense! I need a drink,” whereupon I instructed him to open his soda can in the kitchen. Basically, I am a strategic ninja/wizard.
As he gingerly settled down again, his knuckle cracked, and that was when I completely freaked out that they had heard, and knew they had become the evening’s entertainment. My insanity had a sobering, "WHAT HAVE WE BECOME"-type effect, and we both got up, chastened, and we went back to our respective books.
This is the probably the part where I should tell you how I learned something from this, and stopped eavesdropping, but YOU GUYS, I CANT. These people keep shrieking in the hallway, literally AT OUR DOOR, and it ONLY GETS MORE AND MORE INSANE. Of course, I feel bad for them, and hope they work things out, (and of course, I suppose there may come a time where we will want to, you know, call the building management and/or authorities), but for now, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't finding this to be incredibly compelling.
I know. I KNOW.
If you need me, I'll be filling out the questionnaire for Intervention.