One thing I’ve noticed about living in a very densely packed neighborhood where no one has AC, and everyone has their windows open all the time, is that you don’t have the privacy that you might have with all of your windows shut. I frequently hear whatever my upstairs neighbor is doing, whether it’s watching TV, talking on the phone, talking to his cat (which I’ve never seen, but I now know he has), cleaning, planning a movie date, whatever. And not because the floors are so thin, but just because the sound travels right out his windows and down into mine. This also makes me feel really bad because after we first moved in, Collier and I were gossiping about him a little bit, and speculating on certain things, and now I’m worried that he might have heard us, which would explain why, when we ran into him for the first time in the vestibule the other day, he acted really weird towards us. But also, judging from his conversations he has with other people, and his lifestyle, I think he might just be weird anyway.
The other night, though, as I was sitting in my dining room, on my computer (I have it there because the dining room gets all the sun in the mornings when I’m having coffee and reading news), around 10:00, I suddenly heard two people, a man and a woman, having very loud sex somewhere. Lots of breathing, porno-style grunting and “Yes!!” -ing, and some slapping sounds. At first I was sort of alarmed and then intrigued to try to figure out where it was coming from. Turns out, it was actually the house next door, whose wall is about 20 feet from my dining room window. What sort of creeped me out about this, though, is that since I moved in almost 2 weeks ago, I haven’t seen a single sign of life from that house. Two cats, a solid black one and a solid white one, sleep in the yard a lot, and go in and out of an open basement window, but I’ve never seen any kind of human activity over there. No cars in and out, the shades are always drawn, never seen a light on over there at night. I just assumed the house was empty, and the cats were squatting or something. Apparently, though, someone lives there, and they’re either total exhibitionists, fairly shameless in their sexual habits, or everyone around here is just so used to everyone having their windows open all the time that no one pays attention to stuff like that anymore, or really thinks about it. But it was definitely coming from that dark, seemingly empty house.
So I thought, “Well, good for them,” and went to watch the Daily Show and Colbert. Things quieted down next door, and after my shows were over, I was returning my wine glass to the kitchen, when I heard them suddenly start up again. Only this time, all I heard was some heavy breathing and the bed springs getting a hearty workout. Wow, they can really go at it! I was impressed.
Maybe someday we can have some kind of dueling banjos-type faceoff with the neighbors.