I often wonder what my neighbors must think. I talk to myself. At work, when completely frustrated; and at home, just in general. But without knowing the context of why I’m shouting at the TV, wall, oven, air, etc.; some of my statements can sound a bit strange. I can’t imagine the reactions of my neighbors from over the years. I’ll start with the most recent example, which is what got me thinking about this in the first place.
Case File 47 – Summer Nights
Remarks in question: “take off clothes, take off clothes, take off clothes, take off clothes,take off clothes…..”
Stated over and over. I wouldn’t say I was yelling, I was too exhausted to yell. Just talking loudly, but with a definite sense of urgency. Now, without context, this sounds like it might have been the start of something fun. But when examined with context, it was the opposite of fun. I had just arrived home from work, it was a 100+ degree day, my office does not have air conditioning, and my 1 hour commute home involves two buses, neither with air conditioning. My clothes had begun the process of melding onto my skin from the heat, and I was giving instructions to myself before passing out. See, with context, it’s a perfectly normal conversation. With myself. Probably suffering from heat stroke.
Case File 23 – Flame Out
Remarks in question: “DON’T RUN FROM ME YOU M***HER F***ER, COME BACK HERE SO I CAN LIGHT YOU ON FIRE.”
I feel this one is a slight gray area. “Light you on fire” could mean I wanted to warm the other person up. It was actually cold outside that day. Or, it could have been the prelude to a heinous crime. It actually was about to be a crime depending on your feelings towards scorpions. I had just come home, walked in the door, and found a healthy sized scorpion waiting on the first floor landing. Caught off-guard, I didn’t have any of my scorpion eradication tools handy. I use chopsticks to catch them, hold them over a cigar ashtray, and light them on fire with a long-neck lighter. As soon as I moved out of my FREEZE pose, it started to walk towards a hole in the stairwell. Which is when I politely asked him to remain in place so that I could grab my kit and come back and kill him. Which I did, lucky for me he was a slow-poke. Not so lucky for him.
Case File 32 – Sleepover
Remarks in questions: “I can do this, I can do this, I CAN DO THIS….”
I screamed the last “I can do this” at a high decibel level while hopping about. I would assume the neighbors (not mine this time), thought I was practicing the broad jump. Or new dance moves. That were causing immense pain. The actual story is that I was staying at my friend’s apartment while he was out-of-town, because the owner of my house had come to visit for a few weeks during the summer and wanted to stay there with her family, and I wanted to give them privacy. And you were wondering why I talk to myself? Anyway, the first day at his house I discovered that I couldn’t get the hot water to work. Since it was summer, and so hot, I thought I could handle taking a shower with cool water. At least it started out cool. I assume the water hanging out in the pipes of the building had warmed up during the day. But the longer the water ran, the colder it became, until the end was like ice water from the refrigerator. But I’m not a quitter, I finished the shower without too much frostbite.
Case File 40 – Uninvited Guest(s)
Remarks in question: “WHAT THE HELL!! WHY ARE YOU HERE?!?!?! GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT”
This time, new house, new neighbors. I’m sure they were thinking: Well, if she wants the person to leave, why doesn’t she just open the door?!?! I was standing in the entryway at the time. Freaking out over what was a sea of baby insects. Seriously, it was pretty amazing. I first thought they were some weird tiny bug. The power of the internet set me straight. They were baby cockroaches, and had claimed my hallway as their new home. How touching. Luckily my friend had some magic Iranian bug spray. I sprayed in one corner where I thought they were coming from, then left the house for overnight. Came back in the morning to find them all “asleep”. Did some sweeping up while singing, “I am the champion my friends…” The neighbors probably have 911 punched in their phones whenever they hear my voice. I haven’t seen another bug in 11 months. MAGIC SPRAY
To sum up, we’ve got several lessons learned. First, don’t eavesdrop on your neighbors. It’s not polite. Second, don’t imagine the worst, their rantings could all have perfectly logical explanations. Finally, if you’re my neighbor, thanks for not calling the police.