Every morning, I awaken at approximately 7:05 AM to the extremely loud voices of Mancow and his cohorts on Q101. At approximately 7:05 AM plus ten seconds or less, my fist comes slamming down on that snooze bar with a force that even Thor wielding his mighty Mjolnir could not rival. In general, at this point, I return to sleep, only to repeat the process every ten minutes until I am late for work.
This particular morning, however, my last-minute fits of slumber were interrupted. As I hit the snooze button and lay back down, I heard loud thumping on the floor above me. And more thumping. And some crashing. And a female voice, screaming at the top of her lungs in a very high pitch, “I HATE YOU! YOU ASSHOLE!”. Other things were screamed as well, but that is the only line that I am comfortable quoting. I heard a muffled male voice yelling, but as his voice was deeper it was much more difficult to make out the details. In any event, it appeared that the woman upstairs was not yelling at me, which brought me no small amount of relief.
The thumping continued, and my cat walked over and stood on my chest, his face pointed upwards and his ears wiggling as they followed the source of the sounds. He looked down to me as if to say, “Certainly somebody up there is tearing shit up.” I could not help but agree with him. Soon my alarm went off again, and once again there was Mancow doing his little right-wing radio thing, and once again there was my hand very nearly splitting the alarm clock in twain. The thumping had suddenly stopped. As I am apt to do in the mornings, I promptly forgot about the altercation. (My brain does not work well in the mornings. My clock is set fifteen minutes ahead of the real time, and in the morning I am dazed enough to believe it is the correct time. This is good, because it means I haul my ass out of bed, on average, about fifteen minutes earlier. It is bad because sometimes I forget completely how to work the alarm clock and end up staring at it for thirty seconds, trying to figure out which button to push, and instead of picking the snooze bar, I wrongly choose the button that will turn the alarm off completely.) I returned to my slumber, and dreamed pleasant dreams in which my cat was not standing on my chest.
Today at work, my recollection of these events slowly returned. I wondered if anyone had been injured. I probably would have left for work before any ambulance or police arrived, and they would be long gone by the time I got home. I resigned myself to never knowing for sure. The only indication that both tenants of that apartment are still alive and well is that both of their names remain on their mailbox. That’s not too much to go on in this harsh, crazy world.
But, dammit, it’s all I’ve got.