Sunday, July 3, 2011

Call of Duty?

My knuckles are gradually healing since an encounter with a neighbour. 

This Canada Day I chose to remain cool and comfortable at home while listening to the festivities, interviews and Royal sightings on CBC Radio.  I had no desire for "being there" among thousands of noisy, sweaty bodies in downtown Ottawa.  I enjoyed hearing that Rick Mercer was among the celebrities in Kandahar, marking the last Canada Day that the troops would spend in war torn Afghanistan.  I was proud to hear about new Canadian citizens being sworn in on that special Day.

I appreciated the down time in my new home after a hectic week of obligations, appointments and meetings.  I wrote, sorted through digital photographs from two offspring's recent graduations. (insert fuzzy proud feeling and a big sigh of relief!)  I shared news, thoughts and pictures with friends and relatives via email while reading their updates on family, health issues and recent accomplishments.  I followed up on activities to promote my novel.   It was a satisfying way to spend the warm day in the privacy and quiet of my little apartment.

That was until...

It started with what sounded like random drumbeats coming from our neighbour's place.  This was not the usual boom, boom, boom music vibrating through the wall and floor that we unfortunately share.  After a half hour, I concluded it was either the sound effects from a action movie they were watching or... a video game.  The sound grew louder and louder.  The gun fire became more intense. 

The sound of machine guns vibrating through our home became too much to bear.   Those who know my history are aware of my aversion to loud noises and violence.  I once again state my appreciation of family, friends and professionals who helped me get through the rough times and PTSD

After another twenty minutes of this barrage, I braved myself to seek out the source.  Dressed in frumpy, casual attire and without makeup, I had to go out of my way to knock on my neighbour's door. There was no answer yet I could hear the hoots and male grunts from inside accompanying the gun fire. 

I knocked again.  No answer. Augh! Frustration.  I had to wait for a lull in the video game combat in order to knock again and again and actually be heard. 

Finally, the door opened.  I was greeted by a good looking, buff young man (oh my!) wearing shorts and no shirt (oh my, my!).  My frustration was briefly overcome by flirtatious thoughts.   I was next aware of how haggard and unfeminine I must have appeared.  

Not wanting to let primal reactions distract me from my objective, I breathlessly introduced myself.  

He returned my greeting.  

I stammered nervously and politely, conveying to him that we shared the same wall and... and floor and... and... I could hear - I could FEEL the sound in my apartment.  

He apologized, said they'd turn the volume down, adding that they were just kicking back and getting ready to head out soon.

I thanked him then turned to leave.  He wished me a Happy Canada Day.  I think I grunted in response. 

Things have been pretty quiet since.  As I rub my sore knuckles and wring my hands, I shake my head at the entertainment and lifestyle choices of a few.  I think about those new Canadian citizens who escaped war zones in order to make a better life for their families.  I think about Canadian and Coalition soldiers who have risked life and limb, striving to maintain peace and order in Afghanistan.  Let's hope that disruptive actions of a few do not interfere as others adapt and heal, settling peacefully into their new homes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment