I was just now out working in the garden when over the sounds of afternoon traffic I heard a woman’s jagged screams and I thought, Oh, what fresh hell is this? I have seen and heard it all on this little corner of Midwest LA over the past ten years: drug deals, tagging, grand theft auto, half-naked women falling out of limousines, couples in knock-down-drag-out fights. I once saw six police actually nab a perp on my front lawn. So naturally I assumed I was about to bear witness to more random, urban violence.
The screams tore across the street. It sounded like she was being brutally tortured. My system flooded with adrenaline. I put down my trowel and went to peek over the wall to see where the screams were coming from, but the street looked quiet. I was trying to gauge the alarm level. Was this some grisly home invasion? Should I run inside and get my phone or head straight across the street to rescue this poor woman, my neighbor, a sister?
I cranked up my ears to pinpoint the sound. It’s Thursday, gardener day in Faircrest Heights, and there’s a cacophony of mowers and leaf blowers here from dawn to dusk. But this woman was louder than all that. It was a constant, repeating scream. Suddenly her screams were punctuated by a hoot. A long whoop, whoop! and then the screams started up again. Wait a minute… I listened and heard it again: Woooo, woooo, wooo hoo! Then Yeah baby, baby, baby, BABY!!
I stood there smiling, so glad that this wasn’t violence, not another grim statistic for Jill Leovy’s homicide file, just a good, old-fashioned, (if somewhat indiscreet) afternoon roll in the hay. And damn, the girl was getting it good.
All is well here in Faircrest Heights.