Did I Just Stop Some Domestic Violence With My Voice?

Today I sat writing at the dining room table, the window to my right open, vertical blinds pivoted so that I could see out if I stood just so. But I wasn’t standing, I was sitting when I heard shouts.

First it sounded like the men who live across the way who argue regularly. I can’t tell if they are lovers or twins, and I can’t tell what language their arguments escalate to. Portuguese? All I can say is that they dress alike, in unfashionable gym clothes, and they fight mean. At first I thought it was them.

But then I heard a woman. Her voice came out raw, gravelly. She yelled, “Rape. Rape!”

So I stood to look out the window. The rest happened quickly. Before I saw him, I heard his voice. “Get out of my car you fucking bitch.”

I saw a man pacing in front of and around a vehicle (which I will not describe, because, frankly, I’m afraid to do that publicly). He was on the opposite block–I could see because our window is high up. He wasn’t one of the twin/lovers. He kept going. “God damn you, bitch. Get out. I’ll kill you.”

Actually, I don’t know if he literally said the words, “I’ll kill you.” I do know what time it was, though. I checked my phone and took note of that much. I’ve watched enough police procedurals: When did you hear the commotion? It was 11. I always walk Buster at 11.

Even though I don’t know if he literally threatened her life, he sounded like he would kill her. He was rabid, “Get out of my car!” Kept calling her you bitch.

I didn’t think; I swallowed and I enunciated and I used my theater voice. To the back of the house! Rebuke style, “HEY! I’m calling 9-1-1. STOP IT.”

And you know what?

He did. He looked up and I pulled back away from the blinds. And then he left.

I watched to see if the woman would come out of the vehicle, but after less than a minute of no motion, I went back to my writing.

Now after seeing Birdman this weekend, and having subsequently picked up “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” again, I’m thinking this episode might factor in nicely to a piece of fiction.

Also, I wonder: did I just stop some domestic violence with my voice? I kind of think I did. So I’ve got that going for me.

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