June 21: short-sighted and naked!

The other night I got up to go to the toilet. It was about 2 am. It was one of those hot nights. I was in the toilet when I heard voices coming from outside. A man and a woman moving in the direction of a civilized argument. Quite posh. English. The voices were just starting to get exasperated. My ears pricked. She said No. that’s not something a man should say. What was that something? I asked myself. From the toilet I wasn’t in comfortable earshot. I had an idea the argument was coming out of the kitchen window of the next-door flat. If I just edged open the front door I would get a better listen. These are ground floor flats that give out onto a courtyard. At this juncture I should perhaps note that I was not wearing my contact lenses or glasses, so short-sighted. I was also entirely naked. I inched open the door and popped my head to the gap between door and lintel. It was surprising because I had thought those neighbours were not English and even if they were I hadn’t imagined them being so posh. The disagreement was gathering momentum. She was scandalised by the behaviour of her partner or maybe by one of his friends. At this moment I heard the woman say. Let’s go inside, and then sorry to have disturbed you. I realised then that the argument had been coming from the courtyard and the green fuzziness at the edge of my field of vision was not a trolley-bin and the black impressionist haze was not a pile of black bin bags. They were a woman in a green dress and a young man in a dinner jacket. I nodded and grunted vaguely to the fuzzinesses and went back inisde. I supposed they did not see much of my nakedness because of the angle but it wss a close-run thing, a matter of degrees. I wonder if they saw my intervention as blatant nosiness, whcih it certainly was (in the middle of the night you want a story) or the refined and rather disceet intervention of a gentleman gracefully indicating how sound can carry on a summer’s night.


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