A sense of perspective

Posted by September Blue Thursday, 13 December 2007

My neighbour is crying.

I don't know her. They're a couple, around my age; I've nodded at her on the stairs once or twice, and I once helped him talk a panicking, fluttering pigeon out of the hallway. I know their names, because the numbering system in our building gets hazy on our floor and we often end up with each other's post. But I don't know her, and I don't know him, and I can't exactly go round at two in the morning and ask if everything's okay.

(I mean, I could. If it was panic rather than distress, maybe. But as with people crying in public, there's no helpful way to interfere, and I lean towards the idea that any time 2am sees you sobbing in the living room, you want the world to leave you alone anyway.)

I'm marking student work, and getting more and more annoyed by how many times I've written 'Follow the stylesheet!' in the past three hours. I'd worked myself into a whole lather of rage about it, when the eighth student in a row failed to do the one simple thing I explained to them four times in class, etc, etc, you know how it goes. It's annoying. It's really, really annoying. And tiring, and infuriating, and wrath-inducing, in cumulative amounts, with every time I write the same. damn. thing in the margins.

But whatever my neighbour's going through sounds worse.

I don't care so much about my essays any more. I hope she's all right.