Significant Stuff

May 7, 2010

If you stand outside in the street in the middle of the night and yell, you are going to wake people up.  The street may be empty, but you are not actually alone.  You are not unheard.

There, I’ve said it.  Obviously this was not understood prior to this moment in time, so I am doing my civic duty.

There’s a fascinating amount of this sort of behaviour and it generally happens at 3:00 in the morning.  I’m not making this up.  It’s not always the college kids who live 2 houses down, either.  Sometimes, but not always.

Sometimes, there’s a car that pulls up to the house next door.  It’s a beautiful Victorian (the house, not the car) and a venerable gentleman lives there.  This car is driven by a white woman and a black man gets out of the passenger side and stands in the street and yells at the house.  He rants.  He raves.  Sometimes the woman drives off after a while, but she always comes back.  Then he yells at her.  After an hour or so, he gets in the car and they drive off together.

Last night, there was a car parked outside the house that operates a child care center.  I woke up because someone was standing on the sidewalk outside the house yelling at someone.  Obviously, they’re newer at this because it didn’t last long before they both got in the car to continue yelling.

Soon, college kid season will be in full force.  They party in the open door balconies, but most of the latest night noise comes from guests who stumble out to cars, continuing their yelling and slurring all the way.  With those kids, their expression is a voluble force in numbers combined with an odd reverse clown car effect.  There always seems to be at least 6 of them yelling from the door the the mini-car that swallows up all evidence of their existence except their tell-tale empty red beverage cups swirling in their wake.

Are we living such stifled lives that the only time we can vent is at 3am?  Do we require that much time and alcohol fueled courage to reach critical mass and then explode?  There seems to be this self-delusional sense that when you’re alone on the street at 3am, that it’s okay to yell.  Is it the ultimate, cathartic combination of seeming like you’re alone / there are no witnesses and no return confrontation to be concerned with plus the a sense of pulpit, soap-box, public witness to my pain sort of expression?

This morning, I am a rambling, sleep-deprived bit of wonderment.  I actually do love my Brewer’s Hill neighborhood.  It’s a lovely place and I know a lot of my neighbors.  Even in such a pretty place though, we have our breakdowns.

I live a grateful, gift of a life.  I also know that in order to appreciate it, I have to vent constructively.  That’s the human balance.  This path is full of experimentation.  Maybe I’ll try some 3am street corner yelling.  I may have to try not to giggle at the same time.  Perhaps the key is to be in someone else’s neighborhood to do it?

Could you stand outside your home at 3am and yell?  I wonder if I could.


Susan Scot Fry

Update…  I was being a little facetious when I asked my question, but am a little surprised at the answers I received on Facebook…

  • Yes, I could. But why frighten the community?
  • As long as you don’t stand outside *my* home at 3am and yell.
  • I could, but I think my neighbors might call the cops! LOL (Especially in this little sleepy Hamlet…they’re not used to noise out here in the country…at least not like that!)
  • I just did, the other night, but it was only a little after 2am. Sometimes it’s necessary.
  • I could, they would just think I was another one of the drunks that live in Whitewater
So, apparently there’s a huge need and desire to stand outside and yell.  I think I get it.

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