I Can Hear You Down There

A short story about apartment living, Saint Mark's Cathedral, and hearing your neighbors having sex.

Comments

1
Three sections, three characters, three instruments mentioned. So full of space and heights, so at odds with the Stranger! So great! Thank you Willie!
2
The post is very good, though I have to say on a strictly personal level the idea of living that "on top" of people does not sit well with me.
3
Good to know there are people who do obnoxious things on purpose instead of doing it because they have no clue there are people living on the other sides of walls and floors.
4
Really liked this until the made-up bullshit fantasy ending called everything into question.
5
Oh, wait, it's fiction? That makes it worse.
6
More fiction, please, Stranger....
7
Loved it. However:

(a) pretty sure nobody just plays the flugelhorn. It's an instrument that trumpet players double on now & then (Chuck Mangione notwithstanding). If any flugelhornists are out there, please correct me if I'm mistaken.

(b) that said, it's pretty great that he turns out to be bad. It's just the kind of thing that would happen in real life if someone did describe himself as a flugelhorn player.

(c) the feeling-manipulated-into-coming-to-the-concert thing didn't ring true to me. They are both playing the "time-honored ritual of feigning interest," and the next move should have been to say "Great! I'll try to make it!" or "Oh, I'd love to, but I have a thing I have to be at" --- neither of which anybody believes, but both of which everybody accepts. Maybe if he felt unfairly pressured by the guy's eyes lighting up, or something; or if he acknowledged that his resentment was unreasonable.

(d) The "old man with the enormous ears and slicked-back white hair of a lifelong Republican" was wonderful, as was the paragraph describing the effect of the music on the protagonist.

(e) I liked the "finally" in the "nice to finally meet you" line. Nice bit of WTF-y foreshadowing.

(f) But. How do they know he's listening, if all they have to go from is an occasional cough? He could just be doing something quiet, like reading a book or listening to music with headphones on, and clearing his throat once in awhile. If she'd said something like "we can hear when you drag your chair over by the window," then it would make more sense. In any case, it opens up a nice little "oh, you think you've been keeping tabs on us?" spin on the story. And the "Bobby likes it" throws in a nice little bit of kinkiness.

I would like to read more by this writer.