Monday, January 25, 2010

Guilty guilty guilty

I am the queen of quiet, the princess of placid, the dominatrix of ... what starts with a d? Dominatrix of dialing it down? Even though I have a big mouth, I try to use it quietly. The husband says I mumble a lot. Colleagues say I'm loud when I talk on the phone. When people stomp on the roof, I am up there in pajamas asking them to leave. When the neighbor restaurant puts up a noisy fan I am on the phone with 311 asking them to fix it. Noise is something that really bothers me. Once I had a roommate whose clock ticked so loudly I couldn't sleep. She kindly agreed to sleep with it inside her slipper.

The greatest blessing I have is to live on the top floor where we don't have people walking back and forth over our heads. Hoards of people shouting to each other in the middle of the night, when they are walking side by side is mysterious to me - a behavior I can not relate to or understand. I understand being drunk. I understand talking to your friends. What I don't understand is why you would be shouting about it.

And then it happened to me and now I am related to one of the weirdos who wakes up the entire block with shouting. There is no going back now. We are one of them.

This morning, while it was still dark, the front door of my apartment slammed shut, waking me and the husband from a sound sleep. Him: "What was that?" Me: "The door." Him: "What time is it?" Me: "6:23" As the husband got up to investigate, I stayed by the phone ready to dial 911 to report the intruder who managed to gain entry into my apartment, and then smartly slammed the door. If I had a minute of wakeful intelligence I would have thought to myself, "Self, intruders try to be quiet, not door slammy."

The next thing I heard was the door shutting again. It was my husband returning from the hallway. "He's gone!" he said. "Who?" I said. "Max," he said. "Where'd he go?" I said. The light in Max's room was on, but I wasn't sure if the husband had turned it on, or if Max had left without turning it off. The worst case scenario was that Max was kidnapped and the kidnapper didn't turn off the light on his way out because his hands were full with duct tape, a gun and rufies (roofies?).

The husband then did the unthinkable, he opened the window and shouted in his loudest most booming rock and roll voice: "MAX MAX MAX!" There was a garbage truck making a lot of noise, and he was shouting to be heard over it. Also, his rock and roll ears don't hear so well anymore, so he couldn't clearly hear any potential responses.

This is what was shouted, as I tried to dial the phone in the dark (calling Max seemed like a better idea than shouting, but I kept misdialling because I couldn't see the phone.) As you read this, you must imagine every word shouted in the loudest possible voice, and with the overlay of a garbage truck grinding away.

"BUT IT'S 6:30"
... can't hear the answer
"DO YOU KNOW IT'S 6:30?"
... can't hear the answer

Now this is me shouting at the husband: "LUNCH?" "LUNCH?" "STOP SHOUTING ABOUT LUNCH!"

Finally, I dialed the number correctly. Max answered and I asked the same questions, except I didn't ask about lunch, and I didn't shout. The answer was he was not kidnapped, but was going to school early to study for his math final, which was at 8:30. Is school definitely open at 7am? Yes, he assured me, it is. Will he eat breakfast? Yes, he was about to go into the deli to buy a baconeggandcheese.

So why did the husband feel the urge to ask about lunch at 6:30 in the morning, shouting in a voice loud enough to wake the dead? Twice? He thought the answer would indicate whether Max was actually awake or in fact sleepwalking, which was his suspicion. See the difference between us? I think kidnapping, he thinks sleepwalking. Our worst case scenarios vary wildly.

The real question is what kind of 16 year old gets up in the dark to study for a math test? I hope it's the one who gets a big college scholarship, otherwise he will be waking up in the dark to get to the early shift at the Corner.

Needless to say, I never did get back to sleep.


Karen said...

That's a great story.

Shannon Coffey said...

I'm totally with dad on this one. Our 16-year-old does this a lot too -- the random schedule freaking you out. Ah, college, are you only 18 months away?

Jill said...

The college process is about to beging. First meeting with the advisor is in a couple weeks. SAT prep starts in March. My bank account is cowering.

VH McKenzie said...

I'm a latecomer to your blog party (regretfully) and reading this story has clinched me as your newest regular reader. Hilarious.

Jill said...

Thanks, VH. Your paintings are exquisite.