She came home around midnight on a Tuesday to the sound of a man bellowing from the apartment above her. At first she thought someone might be getting the shit beat out of them, so she hovered by the window, listening for a cue to call the cops. The lines, If they don’t got the money, then fuck you lady, boomed on repeat to a choppy beat. She kept the lights off in the apartment, not wanting to give away her position in case he casually abused meth—or worse.
12:24 AM. If they don’t got the money, then fuck you lady! She lay in bed listening to the same angry lines echoing through the courtyard. No cops had arrived. No dogs barked. She could only assume he was releasing the demons from his head, the anthem of the insane.
12:48 AM. Why would someone schedule an exorcism for the middle of a weeknight? Had humanity totally gone to shit? She wedged in some earplugs and pulled the covers up to her chin.
1:17 AM. If they don’t got the money, then fuck you lady! His obliviousness transformed into spite. He meant to torture her.
1:30 AM. Rage pulsed through her veins, gaining momentum.
2:43 AM. If they don’t got the money, then fuck you lady! Rattled out of near sleep, she sat up and opened the window.
“Shut the fuck up!” she yelled into the silence punctuating his repetitious chant. “Shut THE FUCK UP!”
He paused. He softened. If they don’t got the money, then fuck you lady!
“SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP.”
2:45 AM. Silence. Her hands shook. Confrontation wasn’t really her style.
“Sorry!” he hollered.
She almost couldn’t believe it. She sat up and leaned toward the window.
2:49 AM. She laid back down, flat on her back and eyes wide. It was too late. The spark had ignited her inner workings.