Friday, February 1, 2013

One Less Noisy Neighbor

It was a Saturday night, and as usual my husband was completely ignoring me and studying for law school. With any luck he would take a break later and we'd go out for ice cream. Until then, I busied myself around our small garden apartment, trying to ignore the shouts coming through the thin walls from the neighbors. An older couple who seemed nice enough when we met them in the hall, they hurled obscenities at one another every night, fueled no doubt by the empty whiskey bottles we saw in the communal trash room each morning. "They're at it again," I called to Rick, but he was lost in a world of torts and contracts and just grunted. (This behavior may have contributed to our divorce a few years later.)

Folding laundry, I noticed the yelling getting louder. First she screamed. Then he bellowed. Then she screamed again, and he bellowed louder. There was a slap, a rumble, and then a loud thud. Followed by complete silence. Followed by more silence. That was odd, I thought, reminding myself it was none of my business, until about 15 minutes later when I heard the whirr of the garbage disposal. It ran for about a minute, then stopped. Then a few minutes later, it ran again, then stopped. This on and off noise continued for most of two hours. "Rick, I think he killed her and is chopping her up and stuffing her down the garbage disposal," I called out. "You smoked too much pot, go take a bath," was his only reply.

Early the next morning I went out to get the paper from the front stoop and Mr. Neterfort came out wearing an overcoat and a broad-brimmed hat, and carrying two large suitcases. I asked if he were off on a trip, and he said his wife was going to visit her mother. He kept walking, put the suitcases in the trunk of his car parked down the block, and drove off. Mrs. Neterfort was not in the car. He came back a week later, but we never saw her again.


  1. I think this might be a true story but what a scary book it would make. Move over Stephen King.....

    1. It is a true story, but it would be a very short book.