Ball of Flames

A couple of neighbors are having a serious argument right now. It doesn't sound like anyone's getting popped in the lip or getting mirrors broken over their heads, thank goodness. But there's an awful lot of screaming and cussing going on. My windows are up and I can hear every word they're saying.

Good grief, they can shout! I'm hearing way more than I need to know about how he's cheated, she stuck with him, she's insecure and bulimic and he's, cough, not that great in bed in the first place.

You know a woman is angry when she goes for the you-suck-in-bed jugular. And women, why exactly do some of us (surely, never yours truly) choose to go there? You can't say something like that without it all going up into a ball of flames.

From what I can gather, this fight started because she told the guy that she's going to vote for McCain because he made a woman his vice president and as a feminist, she has to support a woman.

Oh my gosh, he just yelled at her that it makes no sense for her to support a woman who's against abortion when, "You're the one who aborted the &^@#ing baby I wanted to keep!"

Oh wow. I did not expect that. Poor things. They've been arguing for at least 30 minutes and now it comes out what all this might really be about. I'm sorry for both of them. And, now she's sobbing and thankfully, I can't make out what she's saying. He's not saying anything at all but I hope he's holding her in his arms.

How do they move forward with this weighing on their hearts and souls? Every argument they have will always come back to this.

Tomorrow or the next day, I'll walk by both of them, pretending their windows weren't thrown wide open on a hot summer night for our whole neighborhood to hear their suffering. Right now though, I think I'll close my windows. Being a little hot in here in my apartment won't kill me but hearing her cry just might break my heart.


Anonymous said…
Yikes! I wonder if she feels guilt over the abortion so she'd vote for an anti-abortionist. It's scary though how simple-minded people are. They may share a gender, but voting for a woman due to that and that alone is just plain stupid.
Sundry said…
As I was saying to a friend this morning, this election is going to flush a lot of sh*t into the streets. From the personal to the political, it's making us think.

Thanks for the post.
Anonymous said…
Los Angelista,
Yeah, you remember that In Living Color skit where they do the Tracy Chapman thing, she’s in that upstairs flat with the window open, hears all the too-close neighbors fighting and carrying on and she’s writing songs about it (which, of course, reminds me of another great skit, and line from it too, “Wrote a song about it, I did”.). I can just picture you like that now. In a good way. (Not makin’ fun of you here, it’s just a ‘funny’).
It is so sad the deep pain and hurt we can carry around. And how, in those explosive moments, people say the worst things, words that can never come back, that the other person will remember forever.
And just why do girls go for the ‘genitals’ when it’s gotten that heated and ugly? ‘Cause it hurts, that’s why! You just delivered the TKO to any guy (because we males all got those “inadequate” worries in our heads, lol)
Daniel (aka SWD)
Anonymous said…
Seems to me they're so incompatible they're not going to stay together anyway. It sounds like neither of them cares much what the other wants and they aren't satisfying each other's needs. Sooner or later there's going to be an even bigger bust-up with somebody's bags being thrown into the street.
Anonymous said…
Ooh, unpleasant. And anyone who votes for Palin becuas ehtye were fans of Clinton as delusional. That woman is in no way supportive of women.
thailandchani said…
Yeah... I can't imagine how they'll get beyond that one! It's surprising that they're staying together at all.

And of course - voting for a woman, just because she's a woman, is the wrong reason. Someone needs to talk some sense into your neighbor.

Toni Campbell said…
I wish I had emotions like normal people and could empathize with her tears, but I would just be thinking, "He has a point!"
thailandchani said…
Toni, I get what you are saying. As someone who is pro-life, I totally get it. The thing is that once it was done, it was done. He needs to either decide he can live with it or not have a relationship with her. Bringing it up again and again doesn't serve either of them.

Maybe some forgiveness is in order.

Anonymous said…
Women go for the jugular because it hurts and they want to hurt because they are hurting and they think lashing out will release that pain and make them feel better or at least they won't feel bad alone. Pain - fear like failure are orphans - you do those things alone. It stems from the fact that women often do not speak up when something bothers them and it grows and festers and hurts until it boils over.

He does have a point - she is cutting her nose off to spite her face and those of other women as well. Silly - self absorbed ninny! Seriously though if they are to stay together and get past this and that seems unlikely, now that the pink elephant is in the room get it all out. Put all the iss as in issues on the table and get it out. Stuffing all that stuff back in is only going to make it explode again.

Andraste said…
I found my way here through a couple of blogs and I'm not quite sure of the path, but I'm glad I found you. And your commenters!

I'm in full agreement - voting for the X chromosome means nothing next to the facts and the issues. This Sarah Palin person is truly frightening. She's trying to be a 'good old boy' but in reality she's a lapcat of the patriarchy and power crazed to boot. Yikes!

As for your neighbors, it sounds like they've both had some stuff building up for a while. If they're strong, they'll figure things out, if their issues are too much, they'll find out soon enough. But I can't judge - my husband and I have arguments from time to time that have nothing to do with what we're shouting about. It's all part of faults in human communication and how emotions erupt. (And how much we've had to drink...I didn't say that.)

And I don't care who she votes for, it has to be for the right reasons, and it sounds like her reasons are not sound or sane. I hope someone gets the message through in time for the actual election!
M said…
It's sort of a beautiful, but awful little slice of life.
Liz Dwyer said…
I also can't see voting for someone just because they're female, just because they're black, just because of any one factor, or even any two factors.

It requires less thought to vote on identity politics and cultural issues instead of looking at a whole package. That would require people to actually read and independently investigate the truth. Not everyone wants to do that.

I don't think I can even imagine how she feels though... or how he feels either. I can imagine there might be a lot of guilt and regret. I feel sad for them both.

I absolutely agree. I hope the end result is people who are more engaged and active about changing the world.

That skits sounds funny but, I confess I never saw it. I almost never watched TV growing up so pretty much any show other than The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Cosby, A Different World or Fresh Prince...I never saw it. Facts of Life? Never saw it. Friends? Never saw it. Seinfeld? Never saw it till the very last episode.

I've always been a "Rear Window" type of gal and I've always written about it. There are moments though, like last night, when I wish the pain of humanity iwasn't so observable. That sure doesn't stop me from writing about it though, does it? :(

They've been together for a couple of years, have always seemed like they're pretty happy. But there's always what you know about people in public, and that tends to be different from what's really going on. They definitely have some deeper issues going on than just political differences.

In some ways, the tales of political vindictiveness are a little HRC-ish, but they are VERY different on policy issues. And can you imagine HRC trying to ban some books at the library? That's called you've got too much time on your hands.

I'd never vote for a woman just because she's a woman. And I can't imagine casting a vote for someone on the basis of their blackness. No Marion Barry or that Kwame guy in Detroit for me. But identity politics works very well in our world, sadly enough. Who knows what will happen with is couple. I hope they can work it out.

I think he does have a point but maybe, now having had an abortion, she's against it. She didn't get into her thoughts about that because she started crying. I guess I empathize because she still has to live out the rest of her life and so does he and this is clearly a highly emotional thing.

Very good point. It's the sort of thing they can't just use as ammo every time they have an argument. They won't last if that's what happens.
Jen said…
Liz, first of all, this is another brilliant post. You are on fire.


I feel so sad for these two.
Liz Dwyer said…
Sorry, I had to take a break from replying to comments and go feed my kids!

Yes, I know that feeling, where you just want to hurt the person who's hurting you, no matter what, and you may not even remember what initially made you angry in the first place. I know I've said some pretty evil things in my day, but I think I usually go for insults related to a person's intelligence. I think both of my neighbors are angry at each other and there's no way they can stuff all this back in a closet and act like it doesn't exist. It'll always be hovering there between them.

I'm glad you found your way here and joined in. I love the folks who comment here and value their perspectives a great deal.

The more information I find out about Sarah Palin, the more I am simply astounded that this individual has been forward as a real VP option. It's a choice that's immature and arrogant, and assumes that Americans will once more fall for okey-doke cultural wars. Then again, perhaps this is what the final days of the Roman empires felt like.

My neighbors... they will figure it out. I hope they stay together because I like them as a couple a whole lot. They're the sort of couple that always stands very close to each other. I've always liked that.

It is awful but there's something about the realness of it all that almost has a bittersweet poignancy to it. I guess it's why I love living in the city where I'm all up in everyone else's kool-aid.

I feel sad for them too. Listening to them was like overhearing innocence being stripped away. Any brilliancy you sense is purely fueled by how much their pain affected my heart. And as far as being on fire, I do have a fever of 101 right now. It's terribly unpleasant. :(
Karen said…
Mostly, I just feel sad for them.

These folks need to learn to think things through before acting impetuously, whether the issue be abortion or for which candidate to vote (and the reasons why).


I live in a much more boring neighborhood than you, Liz. That's for sure.

Very, very good post.
Thanks for this post. Nothing more to add to the substance here. Just wanted to let you know that your blog is at the top of my list of nominees for the "I Love Your Blog" Award. I saw the recent KickAss award. What can I say? You write an award-worthy blog!
Anonymous said…
I hope that your neighbor is not the majority of women out there. Scary to think that a woman who obviously has liberal leanings would vote for a conservative fundamentalist because she's a woman.
Liz Dwyer said…
There is ALWAYS something going on in this neighgborhood. And lots of impulsiveness as well.

Thank you so much for the award! I'm so glad to be loved!

We're used to voting for people for incredibly shallow and ridiculous reasons. I think history will definitely look back on our politics and cringe.
Anonymous said…
If he didn't want her to have an abortion maybe he should be able to support her financially. Most women have abortions because they can not afford to take care of a child, pay for child care, work, ect. ect. So since he couldn' make it so financially she didn't have to worry about having a baby he should shut up already and be glad someone's still having sex with his little self!!!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Yes, when you live in a one bedroom apartment in LA and you have to think about paying for a two bedroom, yeah, that can be scary, but you figure it out, make it work. I have no idea if this is their issue. I tend to think that a lot of folks are flat out scared to have kids. The singles scene is a fun thing here in LA, hard to give it up.
Lisa Johnson said…
This is the saddest story. It really does break your heart a little. : (
Jameil said…
my mouth fell open at the abortion comment. i don't understand why NONE of your neighbors argue without dozens of listening ears. it's insane and the human suffering is SO painful.
Unknown said…
I feel for both of them. Arguments, especially those that involve unresolved issues, are the worse. The couple has issues that do not stem from politics and I wish them the best. It says a lot that you closed your windows to give them privacy. A lot of soul searching will happen in that house.
Liz Dwyer said…
It is incredibly sad. I saw her this morning when she was getting in her car. I so wanted to go run and give her a hug, but I can't.

Everybody does EVERYTHING around here with the windows up and sound carries in such an odd way around here. I always keep that in mind when I'm in the house talking.

Moody Gemini,
I agree. A difference of politics is merely what's on the surface for these two. I'm crossing my fingers and saying a prayer for them.

Popular Posts