Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Do you ever awake in the middle of the night? I don't mean that half-conscious stumble to the loo for a little pee or food-poisoned purge, I mean do you ever wake up because the (derogatory noun) dogs next door bark? Or perhaps it's the police helicopters flying overhead? Or maybe an ambulance? One could say our neghborhood's in need of a little gentrification.

When I wake up there are a couple of scenarios that routinely play out:
1) crazed, extrapolated situational worrying
2) upper eschelon problem solving
3) raging anger

Recently I experienced number two and three.

The other night I awoke due to my newly heightened mother-senses. Stella stirred. And being that she's been on edge lately I wanted to be ready to intervene in case there was the need for comfort. I wanted to prevent the eery nighttime cry.

The cry she emits upon realizing that she is awake and alone reminds me of an emergency siren. They're some sort of get-under-your-desk-and-prepare-for-a-natural-disaster or a run-to-your-missle-silo-it's-nuclear-fallout! type of siren. Equally unnerving is her cry--it makes my heart race. However, this certain night the stirrings were merely facilitating bowel sounds. I was fortunate enough to be able to partake of a middle-of-the-night-stacatto-farting session.

That night instead of my heart racing it was my mind.

I could not stop thinking about things. Really important things, too. Things like, "Will Jack Bauer be able to help President Palmer in season three of 24?" "Will the yard ever be landscaped?" "Will Jamie's plane crash on his way to Ireland?" "Should Stella be immunized?" "Will Stella lose her shit on the plane ride to California? And will I be sitting next to a businessman with no tolerance who stares askance at my child and huffs when I need to use the toilet?" "Should I start instituting a siesta into my summer schedule now that it's hot?" How is it possible to think so many unrealted thoughts in the middle of the night? Wasn't I just in REM sleep? Shouldn't my mind be cloudier, less nimble, less able to problem solve?

Moving on to situation number three. When I am awakened by the neighbor's dogs barking I usually begin a lenghty little rage session. I start to imagine all the things that I could do to solve the problem (this is a result of all the cooperative learning during high school and college--I am a problem solver, people!). Should I go outside right this minute in my underwear and shout? No, I think I will go outside right this minute and spray them with the hose. There are rotting oranges on the kitchen counter--I will throw one at them. I will write them a letter.

Once that decision is made I commence in writing the letter in my head. I try different opening lines:

Dear Neighbor,
I'm not sure if you're aware that your dogs bark in the middle of the night. Oh wait, I did write you a letter in March. Do you recall?

Dear Neighbor,
Here is a copy of the petition that I will be filling out and filing at the county prosecutor's office in honor of you and Lucy the barking dog.

After a while, my exhaustion gets to me and my prose becomes less and less diplomatic.

Dear Neighbor,
I hate your dogs. I'd kill them if I could. That big white one is ugly and reminds me of a really ugly animal.

Or perhaps I'll send them a postcard while I'm in California:

Dear Neighbors,
I'm on vacation--FROM YOUR BARKING DOGS! The weather is here. Wish you were barking.

Then I imagine different pranks I could play on them.

I would like to make a high quality recording of their dogs barking and play in outside their window at 2 am. I would like to feed their dog laxatives. I would like to get their phone number off their car for sale and crank call them when their dogs bark at 2 am after I first block my phone number.

Just thinking about it makes my heart race.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are hilarious and so easy to relate too