Imagine that it’s dusk and a light rain is falling. You’re in your nice apartment that you kind of can’t afford but you’re making it work. You’ve had a hard day at your job – most likely as a cashier or food prepper or janitor or bartender or server, which are the five most common jobs in America. But you had some nice stir-fry with your partner and you two have been getting along lately and you have an hour to watch some Netflix before you have to go to bed so you can wake up so you can cashier or food prep or janitor or bartender or server all over again. And it’s almost Friday and you have to go to a thing on Saturday you don’t really want to do but it’s better than work. And at least you have Sunday free.
Then while you’re trying to remember what happened on the last episode of 3% you watched and fiddling with the remote you hear a kerfuffle outside! Someone is shouting. And then more someones are shouting. You sigh and hope that it stops on its own in the next five minutes because, come on man, I just want to watch my show. But it doesn’t stop in the next five minutes. Or the five minutes after that. So finally you sigh again and you head to the window and look out.
That weird girl that dresses like a zombie hooker is standing by an old crappy car across the street and she’s yelling at someone in the car. That douchey out of work roadie looking guy that’s been hanging around lately is on your side of the street yelling at zombie girl to come back inside. And the lady from the next building over that used to look like she had her shit together and went jogging every morning but now wears a hoodie all the time and looks like she doesn’t shower is trying to calm the guy down. But she’s doing it in that way that makes you feel uncomfortable because she’s being super careful in that way that women do who get hit.
And then there’s another guy on the other side of the car you can’t even figure out what he looks like – maybe like a TV sitcom writer’s idea of a cool hipster – who’s smiling in a shitty way and sometimes yelling stuff back at the first guy. And now you’re afraid because this looks like it’s not going to let up any time soon and you’re worried not only that you won’t get to watch Netflix but that you’re not going to able to get to sleep on time with all that racket.
And you have a hard enough time falling asleep as it is! And you really need a good night’s sleep tonight because you were up late on Monday night and then your mom called on Wednesday and so you didn’t sleep good that night and you have a big day tomorrow at the place where you cashier or food prep or janitor or your bartender or server because of whatever thing happens at that job once a month that makes it really suck instead of being okay. Inventory maybe.
So you think “I’m going to call the cops” because you pay taxes and you live in a nice neighborhood where the cops will come if you call and tell them people are shouting out on the street. They’ll come pretty fast too, top notch response time where you live. You’re not sure how to call them exactly because you don’t want to be one of those people who calls 911 emergency for a non-emergency but you’ll Google it once you find your phone.
You could have sworn that you plugged your phone in to charge but you partner’s phone is there charging instead. You think about asking your partner where your phone is because you’re pretty sure that they unplugged your phone even though you know they know that you hate when they do that but you don’t because you know that if ask that’s going to be a “thing” and you guys are getting along pretty well right now so you don’t want a “thing”. You’re getting along so well right now that you’re wondering if you should get married maybe, even though you’re also thinking about breaking up with them.
So you’re looking for your phone when glance back out the window and now there’s another woman out there who reminds you of like your high school gym teacher and track coach, only even more severe looking and bitchy and everyone else is out in the middle of the street now and there’s a car with the headlights on trying to get by them and lighting them up like they’re on stage. And then you see fire! Not fire like a lighter, but a big plume of flame like you’ve never seen before. Actually you have once, in that Saving Private Ryan movie when the guy used a flamethrower on the Nazi bunker.
It’s so bright that you see stars for a second. You wonder “where did that come from?” What the hell happened? But weirdly you don’t think about calling the cops anymore. When it was just some people shouting you were fine getting the cops down there. But if someone has a flamethrower? That’s not anything you want to get involved with. You wonder why you don’t want to call the police now that you know something really bad is happening down there when you were going to call them when there wasn’t anything going on but shouting. But you don’t.
Your partner comes in wearing an old baggy t-shirt that you’ve never seen before but it’s not a new t-shirt and you’ve been together a while so why haven’t you ever seen it before? You live together. How could you not have not ever seen that shirt before? In the laundry if nothing else. And your partner asks you what’s going on. And you tell them “nothing, just some people yelling”. You don’t say anything about seeing a spout of flame like the dragon on House of the Dragon.
And then before they can say anything else you say “Hey, are you in the mood for sex?” And they give you a weird look and say “tonight?” because you just had sex on Tuesday because Tuesday night is the night you usually have sex because that’s the night that usually neither of you have to work late and there’s nothing else regular on the schedule. And you say “Yeah, I’m just kind of in the mood for sex, but if you don’t want to that’s fine.”
They ask you why and you say no reason but it creates kind of an uncomfortable vibe because you feel like they’re accusing you of something or that you did something wrong by asking, but then a few minutes later you’re having sex. And it’s fine, but even though you suggested it you’re not really in the moment. You’re not sure why you even suggested it in the first place.
Imagine you’re that person. How long after you’re done having sex do you wait to go back and check the window?