Outside, a spate of gunshots in the distance. Yes, they sound like fireworks but then again they don’t. I didn’t expect to hear that again for a few months. During the summer, it’s like old Piney call-and-response songs:
Singer #1: Hey! It’s freaking hot! Blam! Blam! Blam!
Singer #2: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity, moron! Blam! Blam! Blam!
Singer #1: Oh yeah? Your sister’s a whore! Blam! Blam! Blam!
Singer #2: No, you didn’t! Blam! Blam! Blam!
Once in a while, the shots find their mark and someone pushes up daisies, but most of the time it’s like the bullets fly straight into the stratosphere. I don’t feel threatened by this in the way you might think. No, I wonder why people have guns that can’t shoot straight. For another thing, it’s not like New Brunswick is a cut-rate Beirut, and I have a friend living in Beirut, and until fairly recently I walked through the streets here at all hours while a serial rapist was on the loose. Essentially, I gave thugs in town fifteen years to shoot me, and bullets never whizzed past my head – not even the night I was sleeping next to the frequently touring guitarist boyfriend and I was awakened by someone crawling in my bedroom window. I shouted something stupid about the half a person crawling in through the window and the underwear-clad boyfriend woke up, shouted something equally stupid at the half a person as I ran off to call 911. It’s not a proud moment. I should’ve whacked the half a person because that’s just the kind of angry apartment-dweller I was then and the boyfriend was probably defenseless because he had zero violence in him, but it’s a good thing I didn’t because the prowler turned out to be a cop trying to get into the apartment below us, where the burglar alarm was blaring and we were sleeping through it because the neighbors were away and not fleeing to the safety of our little penthouse.
Christ, another 30 seconds and the cop would’ve been stepping over us to get to…well, the place was a maze with super-narrow Escher stairs, and if he found the downstairs apartment uninjured someone should’ve given him a piece of cheese.
It turned out later a gang of burglars lived one building over, and when the police finally caught them it was because our apartment had been broken into and the thief was standing in a small crowd across the street still holding my computer, which I never got back. Maybe it was the naked pictures on the hard drive.
I recommend renter’s insurance and a can of mace. It’s not much, but tonight the shots in the distance died out and I didn’t hear any sirens so if no one’s injured, maybe that’s just another Saturday night.