During the work week, my alarm is set to go off before the sun comes up. Not to say I actually get out of bed at that time, but that electronic buzz serves as a reminder of my responsibility to my employer. So, after five long, grueling days at work, I look forward to the weekends.I sleep a little later. I lounge on the sofa. I leisurely sip a cup of coffee while watching an episode of Phineas & Ferb or an old rerun of The Monkees.
On Saturday morning, my weekend slumber was unceremoniously interrupted just before 7 am. From just outside my bedroom window came a series of high-pitched squeals and loud, mournful sobs, interspersed by a staccato repetition of "I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY."
What the fuck!, I thought as I leaped from the warm confines of my quilt.
I scrambled to the window and parted two slats of Venetian blinds with my index finger. I peered out into the early sunlight. From my second-story vantage point, I could see my teenage neighbor parading up and down on the sidewalk in front of my house. Despite a typical late February morning temperature, he was wearing a tank top and warm-up pants. And he was barefoot. With one hand, he pressed a cellphone to his cheek while he flailed his free arm in unbridled anger. Every few seconds, he pulled the cellphone away from his ear, positioned it in front of his mouth and spewed his rapid-fire "I'M SORRY I'M SORRY" mantra to the person on the other end. His unintelligible dialogue was punctuated by the anguished cries of a wounded puppy.
My wife stirred. "What the hell is going on out there?"
"Alex., " I replied, "from next door."
She rolled her eyes and soon took her place at an adjacent window as a late spectator.
A car pulled across my neighbor's driveway, blocking the access apron. Alex stomped his bare feet on the pavement as he approached the vehicle. He grabbed the passenger-side door handle and pulled. It did nothing, so he pulled harder. Still no result. He screamed in a voice raised to cracking, "UNLOCK THE DOOR!" The driver, obscured by the dark tint of the windshield, did not oblige. Alex yelled louder, his voice strained and cracking in misery. The shadowy figure behind the steering wheel didn't budge. Alex stood in place, then did a brief "anger dance," bringing his knees up in alternating leg motions and rotating his body each time his foot smashed the pavement. Giving a final, exasperated moan, he marched up the front walk to his house. Although his front entrance is out of the line of vision from our bedroom window, we heard the unmistakable sound of his front door slam.
"Well, I'm getting coffee.," I said to Mrs. P. My morning had started, whether I liked it or not.