05 May 2008

Trouble in Paradise

This afternoon, I had about 45 minutes of free time after the school work was done, and before the septic tank guy was scheduled to pump out our tank. Being that it was another gorgeous sunny day, I did what I always do on warm, dry days before the black flies arrive (or after they’re gone)… I parked myself in a lawn chair on our patio and soaked up a few rays.

My youngest daughter joined me. We rushed out, aimed our chairs at the sun and sat back to enjoy. About that time, we heard screaming coming from the yard of one of the homes fairly nearby. Not panic-stricken screaming or baby-type screaming. This was screaming of the domestic variety. Lots of “You’re such a blankety-blank-blank and I hate you,” with responses such as “Well, all you do is sit on your blankety-blank-blank all day and I’m blanking tired of it.” The male person was sort of, kind of trying to keep his voice down, but the female was yelling at the top of her lungs, unconcerned that she could be heard for miles around.

Normally the area in which we live is a quiet, peaceful place, only interrupted every so often by dogs barking, chainsaws buzzing, cars rolling by, or kids squealing and laughing in play. Even more common are the sounds of woodpeckers, squirrels, and blue-jays making their forest noises. Not that domestic issues never happen; I mean, c’mon, this is real life. But most people keep their problems behind the closed doors of their homes.

My daughter and I sort of huddled down in our lawn chairs, just wishing it would end. She plugged in her ipod and I buried my nose in a book. After all, public as the argument sounded, it was a private moment and it was none of our business. I actually felt bad for my neighbors. I won't say whether I know them well, because I want their identities to remain private, but I will say I think they’d be horrified if they knew someone heard them. Who wouldn't? Well, the guy would have been – I’m not so sure about the lady. Boy, was she loud!

Finally the yelling died down to a dull roar, and before I knew it, I heard chuckling and kind words. Heck, for all I know, they yell at each other like that all the time.

Not long after, the septic guy arrived and our back yard became uninhabitable for the rest of the day. I’m sure the smell forced our neighbors back inside as well. In fact, for all I know, they are right now writing a blog about the hideous odors emitted by the four years of septic waste courtesy of our family. Can’t say I blame them. Besides, there’s no telling what they’ve heard from our house over the years. I wouldn’t even want to know.

In the end, when we meet our neighbors again on the street or at the local supermarket, we’ll all pretend we didn’t hear or smell a thing.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

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