Song of the Quarantined Neighbors

An ode to the five kids who are bored to death next door.

The thumps begin in the morning, a steady beat against the wall that lasts throughout the day, into the evening, and sometimes beyond the borders of night when one day turns to the next. If I keep the window open, I can also hear the symphony of complaints, an orchestra warmup of taunting songs, wild screams, drumming war talk, and a cacophony of curses, all from the mouths of babes. Joining the song is their snow white terrier, who I imagine is crooning his slave song to anyone who will launch his exodus. Sometimes he takes matters in his own paws, fleeing the chaos to bark at new things, only to be caught and brought home once again.

The chorus of the song crescendos, including an aria from the shrieking soprano, accompanied by beatboxing expletives from a prepubescent alto and flute-like whining from the rest. Missing is the conductor, a matronly character meant to lead the choir into something softer, gentler, more pleasing to the ear. Without her, the choir singers compete for the spotlight, each playing their staccato melody louder than the last, and destined to go on forever since there’s no baton to signal the end of the song.

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