My neighbors fight a lot. I would say Corey and I do, too, since we seem to be always raising our voices at one another. But I am rarely actually angry when I do this. I've just grown up in a household where people can't seem to hear one another unless they are yelling and their faces are red. I like to call what Corey and I do talking loudly.
My neighbors fight. And I listen. Whenever I hear them getting wound up, I turn off all the lights in my apartment and sit in the green armchair in my office by the open window. To the innocent houseguest, this chair is positioned so as to catch the evening sun as I curl in the wingback chair with a good book.
I have it angled so I can prop my head on the window frame and comfortably rest my ear against the screen to hear them yelling. I sit in the dark and close my eyes and concentrate on the best reality series around.
Normally, they argue from either the living room or the back bedroom. I hear the loud sounds, but the words come across in random snatches. "Lazy! Hate! Hawaii!"
Tonight, they fought in the kitchen. Right by my office window. I heard everything. I sat with my fingers in my teeth listening, occasionally pattering down the hall to the air conditioned fainting couch to report to Corey. A few minutes ago, she caught him reading Playboy during their argument. Which led to an angry discussion of how he can afford smut rags when she covers his rent. I ran to the bedroom so fast Corey said he thought I was being chased by a bear. "She's a sugar momma!" I said, and dashed back so I wouldn't miss anything.
I justify this eavesdropping by considering myself a writer. I tell myself I'm comparing their arguments to ours, like a healthy-relationship-meter. We pretty much win because I've never threatened in earnest to smash a crock pot on Corey's head. Or told him I was changing the locks and putting his boxes of $5 Marshalls shirts on the sidewalk outside. I tell myself I worry for her safety in such a volatile environment.
Really, I worry they can see the glow of my laptop as I record their every word--knowing with my selfish heart that my dusty apartment with the kitchen filth and rotting peaches on the table and bike chamois on the floor? That's the greener pasture.