Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What is the nature of your emergency?

For the second time in the past five days, I was awakened at 2am by craziness going on outside my building. The first was the spillover of a party next door on Friday night. I was annoyed, a lot, but it is to be expected with the students back in town, and the weather still being fairly warm. It is something that you try to learn to cope with when you live among students and your bedroom is on the second floor, street side of the building.

Last night was a bit different. I was awakened by the voice of a young woman sobbing, repeatedly yelling, "Why are you doing this?" to which a young man responded in an unpleasant voice, "Kelly, come over here." It made me really uncomfortable as I listened to it continue, so I called 9-11 to report the disturbance.

Apparently, the police did come out, but they couldn't find the couple. The dispatcher ended up calling me back about twenty minutes after my call to see if I could see them. I couldn't, but then again, I hadn't been able to see them through the trees earlier; I just heard them. Maybe that is why it freaked me out so much, these disembodied voices yelling at each other. Maybe I have watched one too many horror flicks.

It probably was a bit extreme to call the police, but if the girl had been in real trouble then I know that she would have appreciated it. On the other hand, if the couple was just being very drunk and disorderly, well, then they would learn a tough lesson about respecting one's neighbors. In the end, I said to the dispatcher that I hoped that they were okay, and I meant it.

Several years ago, there was a huge drunken fight in my building. No one called the police even though there were at least two other apartments occupied besides mine and the combatants, and one of the pugilists ended up being thrown through, first, a wooden door and then, a glass paned door. I always felt bad that I didn't get involved in preventing that, even though it wasn't "my responsibility." Other people were home, and they didn't get involved either. Our society is so individualized these days; people don't want to get involved in other people's drama. This I can understand, but how far do we let the drama go before we assume responsibility as a fellow member of the community?

I don't have any answers after last night. I am just left with lots of questions, going through an overtired mind.

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