It is nice today and all of the windows in our apartment are open. There are lines of laundry strung out between buildings, pigeons that fly too close to windows, stray cats, two kids playing soccer, a man directly below me doing tai chi in the sun, next door the neighbor tills a small garden while his small fluffy dog sit watches from the back stoop.
I’m not sure exactly how it started, because I wasn’t exactly paying attention until it became incessant and hardly bearable, but: the small yappy dog and a girl who I cannot see but who I think is inside one of the buildings across the backyard are barking at each other. Dog barks. Girl barks. Dog barks. Girl barks. Girl likes to see what noise she can make to make the dog bark. I hear the dog’s owner and what I assume to be girl’s mom shrilly telling the two of them to stop it. Window screens down the block slide open and heads stick out of upper apartments. The girl finally stops, but the dog has refocused its barking attention on the man doing tai chi. I don’t think the man realizes this because his eyes are closed. He is the only person in the backyard that seems okay right now and I’m jealous. Every time the dog seems to stop barking it always starts up again within seconds. The owner tries half-heartedly to quiet the little dog but honestly he is not trying hard enough and what I’m starting to wonder is who is really in charge right now?