Our neighbors down the valley had a party Saturday night.
You can see the lights, here, glowing in the deepening evening, backed by the sunset. It was perfect weather - warm and still. Ideal for sitting outside, which David and I did. We sat on our patio for hours. The way sound carries here, we could hear the party like we could see the lights, glowing in the distance, a happy tumble of voices. Then someone played guitar and sang, his lovely tenor voice carrying up to us. Our own personal concert.
Sunday morning, our other neighbors made themselves heard and not in such a pleasant way. They're new, renting the house closest to us that didn't sell after over a year on the market. Of course, the owner won't drop the price, so he moved away and left it to renters instead. They haven't moved in a lot of furniture and these houses all have adobe walls and tile floors, which makes for good acoustics.
I don't know exactly what the fight was about, but I have a good idea. He didn't like how she'd behaved the night before. Really didn't like it. "What did you do?!?" was a frequent refrain. Shouted at the top of his lungs. At first I wasn't sure if he was yelling at a woman or a child, until I heard bits of her protests. The loudest part was when he shouted, over and over, "Do you want to be in my life or not?"
We haven't met them yet. Now I'm not dying to.
I'm not much for fighting. I'm especially not for yelling. When I hear those angry voices, something in me cringes. I feel injured and attacked, even as a bystander. I couldn't be that person, standing so close to the yelling, having it hurled at me.
I wanted to tell her that the answer should be "No." Don't be in that angry man's life.
It's not my business. There was no reason to think the abuse escalated to physical. I've only ever called the cops on a domestic disturbance once before and I'm not sure it was the right thing. It didn't change anything and they knew it was me who called. They didn't thank me for it, as you can imagine. I know I can't save the world.
So I went to the back patio and sat under the grape arbor. Their fight ended and they were quiet the rest of the weekend.
I said my prayer of thanks, for a peaceful and happy life.
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