This is starting to get strange.

The neighbor lady has stopped having hour-long screamfests on the deck in the middle of the night, but things still are not well. She stays out in her SUV all night with the engine running and Mexican pop music blasting. She first started doing this back in September, when it was still warm enough that I wanted my windows open overnight. So after a couple nights of being disturbed by her music, I went over there around three or four in the morning to ask her to please turn it down. She had the SUV running in the garage, with her windows down and only the side door of the garage open a little bit. She barely looked up from her laptop when I talked to her, just said “I turn it down” and did.

Later on she had the door closed all the way. I was outside hanging laundry at the time. Her husband knocked, but I guess she told him to get lost or something because he didn’t go in. A few minutes later her little girl came out, dressed and ready for school. She knocked, but the mom didn’t even answer. As soon as the husband took the younger kids to the bus stop and then drove off to work, she came out of the garage and went in the house.

This has been going on ever since. She stays out in the car all night long about every other night. Her husband and kids now just leave her alone out there. For a while she ran the car in the driveway, so I wasn’t too worried, though of course the music’s louder that way and I had to hold my breath passing their house because of the exhaust fumes. But I don’t sleep with my windows open most nights anymore, so it’s not really my problem. I mean, it’s passing weird that this woman wants to stay up all night out in her car, but not any of my business.

This morning when I got up the music was awfully loud, even with my windows closed, so I figured she must be outside in her car, even though I didn’t see her headlights on. But when I went outside (something I’ve always done when I get up, to keep track of the moon and the stars and the weather), she was parked in the garage again, this time with the door all the way closed. I went back in to read and drink peppermint tea until it was light enough outside to go running (don’t have to go to work today, so I’m too bloody lazy to go out in the dark). But I felt like I ought to do something. What if she’d gone to sleep in the closed garage with her engine on? I decided I’d get into my running clothes and go over there–at least try knocking on the door, or see if I could wake up her husband. By the time I got dressed and looked over there, though, she’d opened the side door of the garage.

This is totally none of my business. It’s no-win for me: I feel bad about butting into their problems, and I feel bad about not doing anything. I don’t even know whether she’s passively suicidal, or whether (more likely) she’s just too stupid to realize how dangerous it is what she’s doing.


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