Noises Off

We have a week where strange goings-on happen. Firstly, I am sitting at home minding my own business when there is a noise outside. It sounds a bit like a lorry is delivering a mattress or something large in cardboard as it makes a scraping sound. I don’t think anything of it, nor the shout of “Shit!” that comes after. We have primary school aged children on our block who play outside all the time and I assume it comes from one of them. Mr Mason arrives home and immediately asks what is going on? What are the police cars doing outside and why have they blocked the road? We go to take a sneaky peek and see a fire engine and 2 ambulances at the scene. It appears someone has tried, and partially succeeded, in driving a car along the pavement until it becomes wedged by a lamp post and wall. It has scraped down the sides of 3 cars and is now sitting on the pavement. The driver is sitting on a wall and keeps trying to stand up but a policewoman in blue gloves pushes him back down. He does not look too steady on his feet and I wonder if he is drunk. The fact that no-one was killed or injured is incredible as there would normally be children playing out.

While we watch, the traveller family leave their house to go to, possibly, a wedding but certainly something where dressing up would be required. Mrs Traveller is wearing a dayglo orange dress which is cinched in at various places and puffed out at others. Her hair is probably a foot higher than the top of her head and I have never seen a hairpiece like it since the early 1970s. Misses Traveller are dressed in sparkly clothes, complemented by spray tans and more hairpieces. Master Traveller has had his hair wetted down and is wearing a jacket and trousers with a shirt and tie. Mr Traveller is wearing what we assume is his best vest with a smart pair of trousers. They troop out of the house once and then go back in. A few minutes later they troop out again and get into a car which may or may not have been hit by the creative driver. They do not look happy being under the watchful eyes of so many police, even though they have done nothing. The car is bounced partially onto the road by the police. The driver is taken away and the ambulances and fire engine also depart. It is all over quickly.

This morning, I am dozing when I hear screams and cries of agony from the street. I get out to look and see a man with a backpack and a woman who is clearly shocked. She is cryiing and shaking and she has been making the noise. I do not recognise them. They get into a car with the woman in the driver’s seat but she is still visibly shaking and crying. After a minute, the man with the backpack, who is clearly angry, hits the dashboard and they both get out and swap seats. I don’t hear what he is saying but he has the manner of someone who is furious. He starts the car and they drive off. I feel very disturbed by this. I don’t recognise the people  but then we don’t know all our neighbours. The woman was so clearly shocked and distressed my mind whirrs as it thinks of possible causes for this. It probably says more about me than them but I can’t get the possibility of violence out of my head. Eventually I doze off again to be woken twice by Mr Mason who asks if I am calling him. No I am not. “You are making a noise” he says. There is no answer to that.

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