I try not to look outside so much nowadays. There are things that I don’t want to see. I hear them instead. Sometimes they wake me up. I fear seeing something that I can’t unsee. Something that cops might ask about. Nothing to do with me. I barely go outside any more. I have no friends and little to do with anyone apart from the Boy, and we live in peaceful harmony and quietude. Neither of us like drama and we love each other’s company. There is no trouble in my home. Unfortunately there is plenty of trouble outside of it made by total strangers in the street. As I lay in my bed, I rehearse my line, “No, officer, I didn’t see anything. I was asleep.” I do not want to be involved in the madness out there, no matter how it tries to drag me in, make me nervous, and force me to intervene. If it ever goes that far I guess I will do what we all do: pick up the fucking phone.
Something I have learnt is that people say some crazy stuff that really needs not to be said to other human beings, whether they mean it or not. They scream this bile into the darkness, they announce it as if there is no one inside the buildings they are screaming just outside the windows of. They say it as if they are alone. They say it as if they mean it.
I hear death threats, rape threats, drug deals and strange requests. I hear family members screaming at each other, saying how they have always hated the other. I hear relationships break up, with one or the other talking about going to a hotel, and not in a good way. I hear recriminations, bets gone wrong, sad situations. I hear life and death out there. More often a slow sad brutal dying of feelings. I hear beatings. I hear fist versus flesh and they are just the ones that don’t disturb me so much. I hear loud pops, bangs and whizzes, only some of which are the proverbial comforting excuse of ‘fireworks’. I hear screams in the distance and screams close by.
I hear people who have got too high, and like a moose versus a train stand in front of the traffic as it streams downhill, as they verbalize Crackanese, Smacktalk, Ampheta-Psychosis, and make the traffic swerve around their still warm bodies, as the drivers hit their horns and curse so loudly their profanity drifts up to my window like smoke. Sometimes you get a determined one, looking to either win a war against steel and gears and speed. They take on the traffic for as long as they are allowed to, or presumably until they finally lose the battle. The war was lost already. Cars toot, brakes squeal, people yell, someone screams, the main offender yells angrily, unreasonably, when almost hit when they are standing in the middle of the damn road for extended periods of time, taking on cars matador style. I have a vague notion that they are hoping to get run over and receive a pay out for damages. It is a foolish notion, a scam which is sure to fail…except I am pretty sure that some of them might win. “Gimmie 50 and Ill forget all about it….” People are assholes, I know that much.
But there is a need, a great need, for people to stop threatening other people with death by fire, stabbing, shooting or beating. The words, “I am going to kill you” are serious things. They should never be uttered lightly…or to be frank…at all. I suppose I would rather have a warning that some pig of a person is about to blow a gasket and try and end me, I would rather a ‘Hey, Detroit. I am going to kill you, just so you know, and have a chance to run.” I am done running. I am tired out. My legs are fucked. I can’t run any more.
Last night there was a pitiful screaming going on. Weeping. Pleading. Two men in an ugly scene. There was nothing I could do to help. I didn’t hear any violence, except verbal, but the words cut like knives. It was pure bile and hatred. One man sounded smaller, younger. It was about 3am. The other was mean as a rattlenake, a nasty piece of work. There were threats, dire warnings, desperate pleadings. “Just where am I going to go!” the younger and slightly higher voiced man asked. The answer to that question was too easy. To hell. They screamed and shouted, broke up messily all outside my window, waking me up and making me nervous.
I don’t want to hear people get hurt. I cannot feel as if I have to do something. The pressure of feeling responsible for men’s actions – and no, it is not always men out there threatening other men and women, but it is overwhelmingly a male occupation – is too much for me to bear. I am not the kind of person that easily lets others get hurt. I am a stand in the way kinda girl, a do something kinda human being. I am not a roll over and go back to sleep baby. In short, I find it very hard to be that person who looks the other way, no matter if it is better for me to do so. Call it a motherly thing. Call it a humanity thing. Call it what you like…I call it inconvenient.
I wonder if I could somehow signal that I am awake. Turn the light on and off a few times. But then they know I have heard them, seen them…they could be dangerous. I have had enough danger for several people’s lifetimes. No. That won’t work. Perhaps I could write something that everyone would read and realize, that hey, words have fucking consequences, and stop killing, but that kinda escapade never ends well. Just look what happened last time besides, I just don’t have it in me for that really lethal kinda writing. No.
I am going to be made to listen to the world go to hell. To all the screams and the begging, the pleading and the hitting, the shooting and stabbing and running overs. The pitiful wimperings and sad leavings. I am going to be forced to wonder if this person or that got somewhere safe, or if they ended up hurt badly. I wonder if anyone ever saw me and the children walking those Tokyo streets at 3am, the babies crying and thought, “I gotta do SOMETHING.” No. I don’t think so. I know they didn’t. People didn’t help me and the children back then. It took time and a true friend for that to happen, for someone to say it was not ok and hold out a hand.
I see now it is light they are all silent. All the monsters come out at night, and I sleep so lightly they all wake me up and demand an audience to their vile depraved mutterings. If they mean even a fraction of what they say then there must be a lot of suffering in this City.
The sky is blue today, cloudless, still. There is a peacefulness in the air. It feels as if the day is chilled, if not frozen. Calmed if not sedated. It feels like a day to sit still. I would go back to sleep but it is too late now. I am awake with the tainted hint of promised violence in the air, a stain from the nighttime. It is only just starting to fade away.