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Interrupted Sleep

The weather is in the high 80’s, so all my windows are open. Last night I woke to the sound of a woman’s scream. The bedside clock glowed 12:20 a.m. I wasn’t certain if the scream was real or part of a dream. As I reached for the lamp, the scream sounded again. I decided against turning the light on and grabbed the telephone instead. I heard a man’s voice, but his words were unintelligible. I heard the woman say, “Stop! You’re frightening me!”

Finger poised above the 9 on my telephone dial, I peeked out the window. The housing development I live in is U-shaped. My home is in the middle so both the front and back yards are on the street. Across my backyard, across the street, and across the yard of the people who live across the street, stands a 10 foot high block wall. Beneath the street light I could clearly see a man — beer bottle in hand — walking the top of the wall. The woman, also with a beer in her hand, stood in the middle of the street. I put the phone down and went back to bed.

An hour later I woke to a wailing siren. Again I looked out the window. The man was still on the wall, but sitting now. The girl, still in the middle of the street, was telling a police officer, “He climbed over that guys pick-up (she pointed to the SUV in my neighbor’s driveway) and onto the wall, then said he wasn’t coming down until I apologized for calling him an idiot.” The police officer responded dryily, “Don’t apologize.”

The fire department arrived with a ladder. The man climbed down off the wall and went for a ride in the back of the police car. As soon as my bedroom stopped flashing red-blue-red-blue I went back to sleep.

So ended a very lively week. I am hoping the week ahead provides nothing but boredom.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. …and I’m still wondering if she ever apologised!! Lovely, descriptive writing, but not so lovely when your trying to catch a few zzz’s huh.

  2. little late summer/early autumn excitement! we just had the neighbors have a drunken party for old alcoholics yesterday. unfortunately, they played crap music too loud and tried to sing. sigh.

  3. ahhhhhhh the joys……..drunks are such great entertainment aren’t they……..if you like that kind of thing, which we don’t…do we. haha

    Can’t happen here, no walls……haha

    Here’s wishing you a more boring week next week…..

  4. I am pretty much used to screams in the nights. From all four sides. I live in a lower middle class neighbourhood. Houses packed together. Its fun and friendliness most of the time but occasional screams in the nights.

  5. Boy! Life is NEVER dull around YOU! I think it’s YOU! I think you are a “dramatic activity magnet”!!! Yep… that’s MY story…

  6. Jackie — let me get this straight — if I were to move home I would never again see a drunken fight in the street, or hear anything about shots fired near a school? If I move back home I will be always and forever 100% safe?

    See, I’m asking because when I lived “home,” I was married to a drunk (though we never fought in the street), and that “home” neck of the woods was on TV quite a bit for a couple of truly horrid crimes. I don’t think anywhere is totally safe.

  7. when I fist got together with Cindra she was going back to school finishing up her degree at the U of O and we lived in family housing on campus. What we heard regularly was people throwing up outside our window from too much drinking. That was always cheery. We have migrated steadily into the suburbs. I remember after she graduated, we got our first house out of the “green zone.” She rented it while I was in Saudi and she wrote me an e-mail the first night she spent there and all she said was “all I can hear is the refrigerator hum. It’s wonderful.” so I kinda know what you mean.

  8. Poor Quilly. If that stupid guy had interrupted my sleep by having that hissy fit (I can think of many words worse than “idiot” to call him) I would have been a tad out of sorts.

    Here’s hoping you have a truly boring week ahead too.

  9. Quill, they listed Cartersville as one of the top 10 lowest crime areas in all of the US… everyone flocked her by the droves. Or so that is what the locals tell me, anyway, NOW we got our quota of crime…especially now since there was a murder right downtown in one of the safests areas of town. In a bookstore, no less….She probably had all of $50. in the place. She was a Grandmother.

  10. On Saturday night I was awoke a number of times because of nightmares but nothing was real. I am glad that the police took him to someplace safer than that wall.

  11. There are a lot of insensitive, ignorant, selfish people out there, but then again, I was young once too, maybe I should be more tolerant (and then again maybe not!)

  12. I live in a nice community but my house backs up to a busier road. A few blocks down is a smaller mall with a bar. i usually get woken up, specially in the warmer days with all sorts of happenings from the responsible drunks that are leaving the bar and walking home..i have had to call the cops a few times..

    hope your sleep was better last night.

  13. We lose sleep to barking dogs around here, and that’s about it… not counting the ghosts that drop by from time to time in all these old houses. Wishing you a calmer, more peaceful week!

  14. dougie, ssshhhhhhh…they weren’t supposed to know it was us!

    Great…my husband is probably going to read this, too…

    And my mom…

    And my sister…

  15. I’m still confused why the woman was still standing there. I would have gone home to bed and the IDIOT would come home after falling off the wall

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