the apartment across the landing

(I’m sorry – this is total smut compared to some of your writings.)

I’ve never seen my neighbours from across the landing, but today was the fifth time I’ve heard them having sex.

I’ll just be sitting there, in my room (probably on the Internet but sometimes doing something else like reading Harry Potter in Spanish or attempting to write something or trying to sleep or feeling guilty about not sending enough postcards to my grandparents or being on the Internet) and it will start. At first it’s just a few creaks of the bed. Immediately I think oh no, not again. I’m on high alert. I’m ready for the rest of it. But the creaks will have been singular. They’re always followed by silence – a silence that is more than a few minutes long i.e. just long enough to be deceptive, just long enough to lull me back into a false sense of security. Maybe, I think, maybe it was a false alarm.

And then they start again.

From there on in there’s no turning back. I’m in it for the long haul, right there beside them. The creaks become louder, more rapid, frenetic. I become sixty eight percent more focused on whatever it is I am doing. She starts panting, audibly, gasping, loudly. I wonder why you can’t shut your ears like you can with your eyes. It’s building, the creaks and gasps are synchronised now, there are grunts, more gasps, she’s shrieking, it’s creaking, and – it stops.

Afterwards I imagine them lying there together, post-coital, and I feel only a little perverted. Maybe it would be different if I’d ever seen them. As it is they’re faceless and nameless. I know them only by the sounds of their orgasms.

Which at least is a novel way to know someone.


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