I was sound asleep. Then I heard screaming. A man, screaming, “I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU!”
I bolt up in my bed and stare at the window. My heart is racing, but my brain is not quite fully awake, but Wonder Killing: No, you know that voice. You know that sound. You’ve heard this before. It’s not real. It’s not real.
It was my neighbor watching a movie on what must be as loud as his television would allow.
I sat up in bed, getting my heart rate to return to normal, trying to figure out where I recognized the screams and gunshots and shouting.
And then: a saxophone, wailing a familiar song.
I had been shocked awake by the ending of Taxi Driver. Oh, my God. It was the worst. Because I knew what I was hearing but I didn’t, it felt like I was awake in a nightmare and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do to stop that man from screaming that he was going to kill me. And then I had the Taxi Driver song stuck in my head. Why did he want to watch that movie in the middle of the night? Why did he need it to be so loud?
What does it take to fall asleep after that? Two Oprahs while on the couch. Oh, and AB? The chili was done around 3:30 in the morning.