On Saturday night, around midnight, I finally turned off my radio and climbed into bed. What is it about settling down for the long sweet haul of sleep that suddenly brings in to sharp focus every single noise being made in a two block radius? Not until I had rested my head on my pillow did I notice (okay, so I was really distracted beforehand) that there was some sort of domestic dispute going on in the apartment next to mine. There was a chick yelling and swearing, and then a dude yelling, though at a much lower decibal, back. So, having grown accustomed to such things in my year living just off Stony Plain Road, I popped my flourescent orange earplugs in my ears and drifted off to sleep.
Speed forward a couple of hours to about 2am when I am jolted awake by the sound of blood-curdling screams coming from the above-mentioned neighbouring apartment. I've actually wondered before about where the term 'blood-curdling' actually stems from. Well, now I know. It was SCREEEEEEAM. Half a second pause. SCREEEEEEEAM. Half a second pause. It sounded like the woman next door had been strapped to a table and was being systematically hacked into by a man with a hatchet. Or a woman with a hatchet... you never know. So I fumble around in a blind panic (literally, it was really dark) and dialed 911, shaking like a leaf and wondering if I was going to get through in time.
I've only called 911 once before, and I can't really remember how it went, but this time I had to go through the main operator, telling her what was happening in a frantic voice, only to be passed through to the police. I'm sure this is efficient, but what the hell? Really, do I have to explain the situation twice? I can only hope that the second person I talked to, from the police division of 911, had dispatched officers right when I was first patched through. Anyways, I tell him what's happening, and he walks me through everything very nicely and patiently, and then tells me that help is on the way. Yay! So, just as I hang up (the screaming has been continuing this whole time) the horrible shrieking stops, and turns into a chick yelling and swearing, and a dude yelling back.
ARRRRRGH. Needless to say, no murder was committed. In fact, as soon as the police started knocking on the door of the possible victim, all sounds ceased and the cops were questioning whether or not I had the direction of the sounds right. But, after I assured all five (FIVE! Woot woot!) of the manly officers that yes, indeed, the screaming was from next door, it sounded like it was right in my freakin' ear, they went back over and I can only assume that they settled things because I did hear a murmur of strong and official voices through the wall.
I just have to say that this kind of shit really pisses me off. Because, first of all, I had to spend (after already spending a half an hour perched on the edge of my bed, cellphone clutched in hand, ears perked for the sound of further violence) another hour and a half trying to calm myself down. Second of all, the time and effort of five very nice and kind police officers was wasted. And third of all, just, ugh. And for what? Because some stupid assholes decide to get drunk and start a fight with eachother? For all I know, that chick was screaming because the dude was packing up his shit to leave.... I sure as hell would have, from the sounds of her. So, now, even though I guess I did the right thing, I'm going to be less likely to follow the same course of action the next time sounds start coming from that direction, a) because it's likely to turn out the same way and I'd really just rather not lose the sleep over it again, and b) because I really just don't give a fuck.