Monday, November 03, 2008

From: Snook (The Elder) at Home

Of the intimate made explicit

I suppose I've been very spoiled in all my decades as an apartment dweller: that the peace offered by our three storey, twelve unit brownstone has never been disturbed by more than the occasional screaming match, or late night stereo blaring. But I don't think, in spite of all our good fortune, that it could ever be said of Lenore and me that we are oversensitive neighbours. I can recall only one time ticking-off a fellow--2B I believe he was--for giving his couch cushions their seasonal beating directly beneath our windows at 3:00 am.

And I don't think I'm too much of a prude, either. Not when you consider that I was among those subjected to the middle months of 1969; when you couldn't go ten paces through one of our public parks without catching a glimpse of some twenty-year-old's private parts (even if they gave more the impression of sporrans hung on kiltless Highlanders).

... Which is all to say that you would be mistaken if you thought I was moralizing when I relayed the following to you. I'm not troubled by it so much as I am simply puzzled by it.

The facts then:

Lenore and I were awoken the other night by a deal of shouting that seemed to be coming from the other side of our bedroom door. I quickly armed myself with Great Uncle J.T.'s swagger stick--which has a nice solid head on it--and looked out the door. The noise was louder there, to be sure, but no intruders.

The shouting, in fact, was coming from the apartment across the hall. Our new neighbours, it turns out, are rather noisy love-makers.

But not noisy in the sense you would expect. Not in the sense of squeaking bedsprings and barely muffled cries. Not even noisy in the sense of excited expressions of approval and encouragement. Not just, anyway.

No. Rather this noise was more in the nature of prattle. Running commentary. Narrative. Loud, relentless, and detailed to the point--I should have thought--of a mind-numbing obviousness and tedium.

I won't repeat what they were saying, of course, but to give you a better sense of what I mean, imagine the following exchange in, say, a smoke shop:

CUSTOMER: I'm going to buy a packet of Winstons!

TOBACCONIST: You like Winstons, do you?

CUST: Yes! I'm going to buy a packet of Winstons! The exchange of money and goods is going to take place over this countertop!

TOB: This countertop?

CUST: Here's my money!

[CUST hands TOB money.]

TOB: That--

CUST: Oh, I'm just about to buy a packet of Winstons!

TOB: That's a lot of money! You are so wealthy!

[TOB retrieves packet of Winstons from display.]

TOB: Do you want me to pass you your Winstons now? Over the countertop?

CUST: Right over the countertop! Oh, I'm buying a packet of Winstons!!!

I'm told that, to many, it is titillating to overhear the amorous tumblings of others. Which, no doubt, is quite true--and I don't imagine that I'm any different than anybody else in this respect. So you'll appreciate my extreme disappointment when, in the end, far from feeling the need to stop my ears against the suggestion of a perverse impulse, it took a serious effort of will not to blow a resounding raspberry and shout "Booo-ring!" at the top of my voice.

And I thought these hypersexualized youth I've been hearing so much about were up to something clever.