THE CACKLING WOMAN AT THE PARTY DOWNSTAIRS
Saturday night. Night for parties. In my apartment building. I wasn’t invited but I went vicariously anyway. How could I not? The laughter was so loud that it prompted me to open my sliding balcony door and peek over the side to see exactly what was so funny. Ofcourse I wouldn’t understand why they were laughing because i don’t understand French jokes, or french anything for that matter, but it was fun to listen to, for an hour or so. After that, it became quite annoying. I mean really. At one point, the woman who was cackling was so taken with her laughter that she had to cross her legs in order not to pee (I presume) because that’s all I could see from my vantage point above and from my balcony. No heads, only waist down – and that’s where she kept crossing her thighs hard, which I’ve had to do to keep from peeing when I sneeze. But she wasn’t sneezing, she was cackling. Good, I thought, someone over 40…….no one under 40 has to cross their legs when they sneeze, I dare say. I closed the patio door and the laughter came straight up from below….I mean honestly – what could have been so funny? I turned the radio louder to drown her out as it was really irritating by now.
Then, it settled down a bit and I went out on the balcony to check on them. Were they dead drunk, dead, awake, what? The madame had the kitchen window wide open and was flicking her cigarette butts out into a tiny ceramic planter while she washed the dishes. Her hands were so red that it must have been really hot water. I thought, “I’m going to be a voyeur now and see how French people wash their dishes to see if I can learn anything”. But it was virtually the same as what I do…fill the sink with water, squirt some soap in, swish the sponge around on the dishes, first the top of the plate, then the bottom of the plate – oh okay, boring, they do it like “us”…….with the exception of the cigarette while washing….that was tricky. How did she not get the cigarette wet? The cackling woman must have passed out. I didn’t hear her anymore.