Agent L has spent the past week hair-pullingly stressed over the great migration to the new apartment, and is exhausted. She has, however, been storing up all kinds of things to tell you when she can finally breathe and sit down with you over a glass of wine.
In the meantime, a few observations from my new bedroom window.
My new ‘hood is on a rather shabby street roughly sort of between bar street and little bar street, dangerously close to cheap bar. A lot of stuff’s opened up there recently, lots of little cafes and bars, and across the street there’s even a dans studio, run by women with intimidating posture. At night it’s hoppin. Last night it was really hoppin. I came home earlyish from dinner at a friend’s house and hopped into bed before eleven ’cause as I said, I’m exhausted. Before I could drift off there was a scuffle, that got scufflier and scufflier until finally I thought there might actually be, like, real violence going on. Men were shouting, a woman kept screaming, and about twenty dogs in the neighborhood were barking their heads off. I found my glasses under the bed and poked my head out the window and saw a huge group of people outside cheap bar, among them Bad Boy, so I pulled on my jeans and ran out.
“What’s going on?”
“Oh, hello, L. Nothing. Some idiot just got the shit beat out of him. He totally provoked it.” Bad Boy went off to investigate. Maybe I’ll find more out later. I wandered back inside and to bed, and watched the police lights dance on my ceiling when the cops came. At perhaps twelve I heard Hannah and Engin, who both have very distinctive voices, arrive at Cheap Bar and through the window heard snatches of their conversation.
“Right so that was when the woman started screaming, and that’s when Agent L came out to see what was going on. Then Bad Boy…”
It was nice to be in bed, deliciously drowsy, and still kinda feel like I was hangin with my buds. But beware if you ever go to Cheap Bar- Agant L will know if you’re talking about her.
By far my favorite part of the street so far is a daytime phenomenon I call “Screechy Pat Murphy.” Pat Murphy was a little old lady who worked for just about everyone in the neighborhood- cleaning, babysitting, dogwatching. She had been raised in an orphanage, and there was something undefinably special about her, something just a tad awry. She knew everybody’s business, and spent every spare moment when her soaps weren’t on in one neighbor’s house or another peeking out of the curtains, noting everyone’s comings and goings. She was at our house for most of my childhood, it seems, looking back, and she knew and would comment on how many pairs of underwear we used, how many asprin tablets were in the bottle. If Agent L has huge, untherapizable issues with privacy today, it’s probably because of Pat Murphy. But we loved her, we really did, even if she drove us nuts sometimes. And Pat Murphies keep a neighborhood safe.
Well guess what! My new apartment comes with its very own Pat Murphy! She’s fantastic. I spent, like, an hour watching her yesterday. She has short, iron gray hair and is shaped like a scowling bowling ball. There’s one of those concrete planters across the street. This woman has put a board down on top of it and made herself a comfy seat, with cushions and a blanket, so she can sit outside and screech at cars that she doesn’t think are driving correctly, or people who aren’t behaving as they ought. She sits out there for literally hours with a little packet of cookies and screechingly monitors the block, a sour, unhappy guardian angel for us and our valuables.