“Don’t be such a pussy David!” was what woke me up at around 3am, I think, judging by that feeling that it’s way past midnight but far from dawn. It was a woman chastising David. She sounded about 40.

It was clear that they were standing right outside the bedroom window because they weren’t yelling and yet everything was crystal clear. I could hear David’s feet were a bit uncertain, like he wanted to respond to her challenge but not with his whole heart. I imagined he was wearing white no-name sneakers and unfashionable jeans. He obviously wasn’t moving fast enough so she said it again, “You’re such a fucking pussy David!” That did it. Both pairs of shoes scuffled away from the window and down a few steps that lead into the courtyard.

When I'd invited my best friend Renee to come and stay with us from New Zealand we were subletting in SoHo. When she and her baby and her man, Steve, arrived we were here in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Pros and Cons. They now slept in the lounge.

The yelling went on for some time and it was pretty clear that the drugs, booze and lateness had moved the party into that 5am no man’s land where bad things happen because climbing down is no longer an option; you’re in it up to your thighs.


The gay guy who David was arguing with made some kissing noises at him. “I’m going to fucking kill you,” David screams. “I’m going to go and get my gun and come back and fucking kill you.”

Renee was out of her bed and hovering over her daughter’s cot. An impassioned reference to guns in America just one small window away had her planning our exit, but then our bedroom lit up blue and red. Strobe lights through the window indicated more guns had arrived.

The cops’ shoes were the last thing I heard as I drifted off to sleep. Soft black kick your head in rubber that made its way towards the noise.

In the morning the apartment building had a seedy feeling; even more so than usual.

It rained and when I opened the front door to look out into the entrance of the building the woman in the apartment opposite us was taking her five dogs outside for a walk. They all started pissing simultaneously when she opened the door onto the street. A river of yellow urine joined the rain, spreading out and coating the pavement in one sticky sheet.