Sep 8, 2007

Cooler Days, Uneasy Night


The heat wave has broken, and Larry and I are relieved to experience an old sensation. Chill. It is definitely early fall. You can see it in the light. It always makes me feel just a bit nostalgic and melancholy.

With the break in temperature, one would think we'd have an easier time getting to sleep last night. Besides, we'd gotten our Netflix selections on time, watched "Blades of Glory," took our aspirin and got under the covers.

After a good half hour we were both still tossing and turning. Well, I turn. Larry flicks his legs.

"Are you OK?" I asked him.
"Uh yeah are you?"
"Uh, yeah." Neither of us sounded too convincing. But there was nothing to be upset about, at least not with each other. Not that I knew. Close to an hour passed and neither of us were asleep.

"Do you smell cat litter?" Larry asked me in the dark.
"No," I answered. "I smell what a cat leaves IN the litter."

Like, a turd. We turned on the lights and searched the room. Our own cat would have no reason to take a dump in our room. But ... Well last week when it was so hot, we put up a bamboo screen outside the back door so we could leave it open, have a breeze without the flies. It kept the flies out, but not the neighbor cat, Fella.

Fella's a likeable, neutered male who made friends with our homeowners. Our house used to be his playground away from home. That is, until we moved in and brought our own cat. He's been pissed off at Honey ever since, and shows up nearly every day, growling at her and expressing his frustration at the revocation of his all-access pass to the house.

On more than one occasion last week, Larry and I looked up to find him jaunting around the house. Larry saw him coming down from upstairs.

Now the insinuation of cat turd in the room made sense. Fella mus have left a protest gesture in the room. We looked everywhere and found nothing.

Larry and I went back to sleep. Or tried to.

After a while we heard a loud POP-POP ricocheting from the streets. We are at the top of the hill, and the noise from Eagle Rock and York Blvds. funnels up to our ears like a megaphone.

Pop-Pop. Not a firecracker. A gunshot.

We both sighed. We hear pop-pop more than we'd like to admit. House prices may have skyrocketed in our area, but the clientele hasn't.

I listened and waited for the sounds of sirens. They came, but not right away. I was listening to see if the sirens would stop, indicating it was closer by. But I must have drifted off. Until I was jolted back by the sound of another pop pop pops. And the pop pop pop answer. And then more.

Now we were very much awake. I wanted to cry but my body was too tired to make noise. I got up and closed the downstairs windows and locked the doors. I took a hot bath shaved the calluses off my heels.

Larry came down to find out what I was up to.
"I can feel it in the air," he said. "It's like a vibe, isn't it?"
"Yeah." It was almost palpable. "Maybe we should pray," I offered.
"Yeah," Larry answered. He went back upstairs, I finished trimming my calluses, and went back to bed. He seemed asleep and I wasn't about to wake him. So we never prayed.

I got up around 8:30 and searched local news for shootings in Eagle Rock. But they never post them. If this were San Marino or Beverly Hills, maybe. But not Highland Park or Eagle Rock.

Larry and I think more about moving. Out of LA. Especially after nights like that. Portland Oregon. That sounds good.

1 comment:

Lisa Milton said...

Um, yes please. We welcome tired and harried Angelenos all the time - just ask my folks and Greg.

{I'm seeking out my starter kit at Wild Oats this weekend. I'll let you know when I got the goods. Thanks again.}

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