living in the city…

Despite all of the things I love about living in the city there are still some drawbacks…

No, strike that…

Despite all the things I love about living in 2008 there are still some drawbacks.

Like what you ask?

When I was a little kid, say 6 years old, if at 1 AM 4 kids were standing on the corner screaming threatening obscenities at one of their number I would never have noticed.

I find it remarkable what children can sleep through.

I imagine though, that when I was a child that yelling and screaming would have been met with someone shouting from their window to “Shut up already and go to bed”.

I like to think that. Is it true? I don’t know go ask my dad.

Today though that’s most certainly not the reaction I’d have… so when a little after 1 AM I wake to the sounds of threats and obscenities, violent yelling, more obscenities and amazing over use of the phrase “fucking shit”… Well it’s not the same.

After a few minutes of silent listening I went into K’s room to get her. I didn’t want her to wake up alone and be frightened. I brought her into out room and with her curled against me in sleep I whispered to Mr. Kaos “Call the police”.

“I will” he told me.

He was trying to find the non emergency number.

It took him a few minutes but finally he dialed, listened to the hold information and then spoke with someone. He tried to tell the man on the phone what the situation was as politely as he could.

Standing on the corner. In front of our house. Obscene language. Threatening language. Violent language. Three or four of them. Late teens? Right in front of our house.

With me in the background reminding him they were behaving violently. I swear I heard someone’s flesh make contact with the ground, with some stone in our yard.

While he talked to the operator I could hear them move on… wander down the street.

Apparently the 20 minutes they spent just outside our window was enough and they made their way down the road to scream obscenities or kill each other in front of someone else’s house.

Now here it is, 1:55 in the morning… Mr. Kaos is drifting back to sleep, K is curled happily in our bed hugging her doll and dreaming of anything but what just happened and I’m awake.


Typing my thoughts onto this white screen hoping that my shaking will somehow be mediated by the pouring out of my soul. Hoping that once again putting words to page will cleanse me of my fear.

Not so in this case.

Writing removes MY fear. The fear I place on myself.

Not the fear heaped on by life outside my windows.

Not the fear that in this peaceful neighborhood one dumb ass with a gun could change everything I know in an instant should a stray bullet come through my window. Should I hear a shot out on the street. Should I be forced to lay here a moment longer listening to threats and thuds.

In the end it has nothing to do with the city because in cities, suburbs, neighborhoods. countrysides and towns all across the world people are dealing with so much worse.

It’s just easier sometimes when it’s the other guy awake in bed at 2 AM hoping that the nervous shaking will stop.


I wrote that shortly before 2am Thursday night… around 4:30 I heard the boys make their way back up the street chanting the same set of obscenities like a totem. Like the words made them that much tougher…

I didn’t sleep well that night.

14 thoughts on “living in the city…

  1. sybil law says:

    Usually turning on the porch light (if it was previously off, duh) is enough to shut the dipshits up, or at least quiet them down!I know all to well what you’re talking about.But I can sleep. Usually.Sometimes it takes Benadryl, though. :)xo

  2. Lilacspecs says:

    Did the police ever show up to check it out? I lived in a really bad part of Pittsburgh for a year. One night we heard our downstairs neighbor severely beating his dog. We called the police twice and no one ever showed up. One of the nice things about being here is that, if people are being loud, you can say something to them out the window because guns here are illegal so no one has them. The not so nice thing is that most of our neighborhood is Turkish or Moroccan so half of them don’t speak Dutch and that makes it hard to ask them to do anything really.

  3. denise says:

    Fuckin’ rat bastards. I thought moving to a small town would do away with some of the headaches of living in the 21st century but alas no, I’ve had my car broken into 4 times in 5 years, little shits stole my Husbands leather trench coat. We got it back but that never happened to me in P-town. Having a scary looking Husband helps me out too.

  4. Dan says:

    That’s happened to us too and we live in a realtively peaceful village.Actually I just thought about it and that’s not true. i like to think our village is peacful but there has been two murders her in the last six months. one of the victims was a four year old boy killed by his father.It’s a shit and scary world out there.

  5. ImPerceptible says:

    Must be something in the air. We had a ‘domestic disturbance’ down the street from us last night. I watched out the window as a man and his girlfriend had a huge arguement in the middle of the street. He was holding their 1yo at the time. The police came and the Dad left with the little girl. Makes me sad.

  6. missburrows says:

    What you need is a motion activated sprinkler. and a video camera. (why not make a little money on the side)OR a trap door. that would work just as well. (but it is probably more expensive).We hope you guys are feeling better today.

  7. holly says:

    what you need is a snorey snorey husband. i can’t hear *nothin* over him. oh i lied – two nights ago drinky joe shouted abuse at ms drinky joe – they live four doors down. not quietly. honey, honey, honey. i wish i could come over there and take ’em out for you. sleep well tonight? please? i hope you got enough rest to do a laundry-helping-podcast . . .?

  8. Kimberly says:

    Oh Cami…ouch. So, so sorry.Thank you for making me miss city life a little bit less. Sometimes our neighbours chickens get a bit riled but I won’t be annoyed by that anymore, I promise.~shudders~

  9. DaddyKaos says:

    Today I was partnered with a guy that moved here from Chicago 2 months ago and he commented on how nice it was to be able to leave your windows open day & night. Even though it is a little backwards sometimes it is nice to live in a smaller town.And you were right, someone would have requested that the little pricks pipe down back then.

  10. Bubblewench says:

    dammn, i’m the one in the ‘city’ and I don’t have that kind of crap going on.Sorry to hear that. Punkasshatkids.

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