Article written

Chucking an egg or firing the bazooka 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Having to get up at the usual time (6am), I found it furiously annoying to be woken up at 4am to the sound of who-knew-how-many people making way-too-much noise. What they were doing at that hour and why they were hanging out on our humdrum street instead of a bridge, in a piazza, at a monument, a fountain, or any of five thousand more fascinating places in Rome is a mystery.

Incredible that nobody, including me, called the cops. I wanted to but Francesca said I’d have to give my name and address and if the complaint wasn’t (in their opinion) valid they’d come knocking on our door and give me a ticket. So I rolled over and, while trying to pull the pillow over my head, realized Jimi was sleeping on it and I didn’t want to disturb her because she’s a cute cat and one of my best friends. Instead I lay there, dumbfounded that voices could carry so loud and clear all the way up to an eighth floor apartment and then echo in my ears. What about the people on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh floors of all the buildings in the area? Unless they were profoundly heavy sleepers, they must have been suffering like me.

Who were these miscreants and how was it possible they had nothing better to do and nowhere more interesting to be? I tried to banish them from my mind but they were too noisy, too obnoxious. I thought about chucking an egg or firing a bazooka but we don’t have any eggs or bazookas. Though even if I’d had one, I wouldn’t have used it. Any idiot who would loiter on a street disturbing the peace at four o’clock is probably someone who would wait a few more hours and then mash your face into mush when you left for work in the morning.

The racket continued — 4:10, 4:15, 4:20 — until I leaped out of bed and charged toward the window, ready to break bones and smash heads if I had to. Glaring out the window, I saw eight or nine numbskulls out there, far too many for me to engage in hand-to-hand combat and expect to emerge victorious. They were gathered around a red Fiat, rocking back and forth on the balls of their feet, shouting and slapping each other on the shoulders and backs, leaning into one another and blabbing into each other’s ears.

I huffed and puffed, pacing back and forth until Francesca called me back to bed. After a reprimand for having scared the cat half to death and almost giving her a heart attack when I jumped out of bed, she kissed me and then curled into my arms. Resting my head on a corner of the pillow, I kept imagining myself on our balcony, chucking an egg or firing the bazooka and then diving back through the doors and closing them quietly.

I fell back to sleep, of course, finally, and my alarm went off an instant later. As soon as I was on my feet, the worst was behind me and I started my usual morning exercises. While jumping rope, I thought about the situation as if it had been a film and those buffoons were the protagonists of a Marx Brothers or Three Stooges film. The audience would have enjoyed watching me get madder and madder, and may have laughed to see me race toward the window spitting venom as our cat launched into the air and my wife sat up with both hands on her heart.

After all, why get angry about something out of my control? What good does that do? Aren’t I the master of my fate? Am I not captain of my soul? I could have turned on my computer to write or have opened a book and read. Maybe those hooligans had been placed there on purpose as the universe’s way of inspiring me to wake up and do something more constructive than sleeping.

I think anger is a projection of one’s own prejudices, insecurities, and anxieties upon other people or things. If I allow someone else to irritate me, it’s because I have my own issues. A person at peace would remain calm, and maybe even smile or laugh. Anyway, Shaw, I may have been the antagonist of last night’s scene but I’m in the audience now, and not only am I smiling but I’m laughing too . . . hard.

23 people like this post.

subscribe to comments RSS

There are no comments for this post

Please, feel free to post your own comment

* these are required fields

Scott Sussman is powered by WordPress and FREEmium Theme.