Breaking glass cuts the thin walls and fighting ensues but it isn’t the shattered shards of Champagne flute that’s caused it.
They’ve been struggling since I can remember. There is no beginning or end.
It just is.
A jukebox full of themes seamlessly moving to a new genre even before the last pick comes to a quiet.
I slice red peppers, add them to the oil and onion in the pan…let them sizzle over the crescendo next door. Leaning, one elbow on the counter, I stir slowly, splashing red wine into the mix and a little extra into my glass. My mouth waters as garlic rushes the air. Even the diced Romas seem particularly fragrant tonight. I scrape them off the board and into the fusion – juice, seeds, skin and all.
The bellowing gathers into a twisted tornado of assault and injury. Another glass breaks. Something’s thrown against our shared wall. Sounds like a book. Could be a shoulder.
Once the water is on to boil and the bread in the oven, I kick off my shoes and flop. My wine is spicy, my feet sore and my mind roaming, but soon the muffled throbs of next door subside, as much as they ever do, and I laze through a magazine, alternating page flips with sips of Syrah.
I text, I flip, I wait and sip. I relax.
Just as the smell of my sauce seduces me off the couch, the doorbell rings.
“Anna! Thank you so much for inviting us. Um, we hope you like Champagne…?”
I take in her slightly smudged liner, their entwined fingers, his insane grin and their green bottle of bubbly with the shiny pink label.
“C’mon in, guys. It’s lovely to have you.”