Last night, I was Elaine Benes. I thought to that episode of Seinfeld where she is kept awake my those loud dogs in her neighborhood and does everything to sleep and eventually kidnaps the dogs and drives them out to the country. When you cannot sleep and it is because there is something, someone's pet preventing you, you have the most violent fantasies. I imagined killing these dogs, feeding them poision, establishing a quality of life that is prevented by this pack of howling dogs.
I am not sure if this happens all the time or if last night was a rare occasion - a party in dog land - because this is only my second night in my new bedroom which faces the backyards of my entire block. After about ten minutes of tossing and turning, trying to block out the sound, I finally closed my window and shut myself off from the comforting fall breeze and was so pissed that my asshole neighbors denied me this pleaure, were denying me sleep because they couldn't take care of their dogs. But even that didn't work. It sounded like they were right next to my ear, these sets of opening and closing big jaws barking and barking. I kept saying to myself shut-up, shut-up - saying it like a crazy person but not loud enough for the dogs or my asshole neighbors to hear me. That went on for a while before I finally lost it, threw open my window and let all my frustration out into the night air, leaning out of my window and screaming for all the neighborhood to hear, a loud, bellowing SHUT-UP.
And amazingly, the dogs all heeded my command. I lied down in bed and couldn't believe that they had stopped barking. New York is funny and not funny. I mean, weird and not like anyplace else in the fact that no one really sleeps. It is not a weird sight to see a mom with a toddler at two in the morning riding the subway somewhere, or packs of twelve year olds hanging out on the street way past the time I would have had to be in bed at that age. And dogs, too, which I think of as children in how they behave. Normally dogs sleep at night, but two in the morning in New York, and these dogs are having a raging party and I had to be the grumpy old man telling them to turn down their music. But yes, I slept soundly and today, I am going to find out the address of this dog owner and next time his dogs are yelling late in the night for a good half hour, I am going to call 311.
There used to be a bird on Bedford a couple years ago that would make calls late into the night, two, three in the morning and everyone commented on it that I walked by it with - that birds don't make calls at night - and something about this place confuses everyone's bodies. It is that toxic air, wrecking our internal clocks, or is there just some energy in this place that even reaches the natural world, birds, dogs, and such?