I told Joan that I had to study tonight, when in reality – I was sitting home, again, on a Friday night, alone. Rearranging the music on my mp3, and watching the world go by, out my window. Wild child, that’s me.
Curled up on the window seat, I at least had a view of the street 2 floors below, and I could see down to the sidewalk, people coming and going, lights changing, cars cruising with music blaring out the windows. Screen open, I could smell the fumes of the passing cars, and the aromas from the restaurant up at the corner. God I was hungry. Well, just a few more minutes, and I’d go get something to eat. Maybe some curry…
A far off sound of sirens pulled my head up, only to shake it off as being too far away, and not worth worrying over. It was way over by South Broadway, no trouble there, nothing to fear.
Then… another siren adding its voice to the first, this time, an ambulance, no… fire and rescue. A different tone, different cadence than police, which was a short, sharp siren, whooping quickly. Fire and rescue was a more depressing tone, long, sad, drawn out as though to tell those in the way “here come those that arrive after, those that clean up after the crash”. I’d always hated that long, mournful siren’s voice.
“Marne!” A suddenly loud voice, calling from the sidewalk, shattering my reverie about the sirens. Looking down, I see Joan, looking up at my face pressed up against the screen window. Standing with her hands planted on her hips, she cocks her head to the side and shakes it.
“Get your ass down here, now, girlie! I knew you were lying earlier, you aren’t studying. You’re playing with your music again, aren’t you? And ignoring the fact that you’re hungry, right?”
Blushing, and knowing she can’t see me clearly, my face just a familiar shadow visible from below, I still pull back from the window a bit, just to push the screen out so I can stick my head outside to answer.
“Alright, I’ll be right down. Just hang on while I shut my laptop down, and shush, you’ll piss off the neighbors!” A hurried attempt at placation, I wave my arm out the window and shut off my computer, watching the glow fade from the screen, the music cuts off in the middle of Godsmack’s “Saints and Sinners”. Ah, how right, how true.
I pull the screen closed, and slide the window into place, locking it tightly. No need to let in anyone that doesn’t have a key. Wouldn’t want trouble. Conscientious, that’s me.
And I hurry to get downstairs to meet Joan for a bite. Fangs flashing as I grin, I go out to be one of those sirens of the night. Wailing mournfully as the rescue tries to reach us in time, knowing it will never beat the hunger.
-Jan. 6, 2014