I've Never Been So Talked At

Spring 2006.  A questionable neighborhood in Los Angeles.  The residence is a four-story apartment building with three apartments on each floor.  Some of the tenants now have trouble with their rent because of the economy.  However, everything keeps going in this working class milieu.  There are two elderly tenants in the building still.  One of our characters is one of them, 82 year-old Mildred Stashewski, retired seamstress.  Down the hall lives a putative waitress, 21 year-old Karen Cloche.  She has a lot of activity in and out of the apartment.  Her rent is always paid.  We open outside of Mildred's door on the second floor.

Mildred:  Hey, come on!  I can hear that all the way in my living room.

Karen: (returning from the liquor store, surprised)  Oh, hi.  How are you?

Mildred:  Didn't you hear what I just said?  Too much racket.  Too much noise.  It's nine forty-five.  People are trying to sleep.  I'd like you to turn that music down.

Karen:  We're not crazy.  We're only having a party in there.  (A teenage girl opens Karen's door dressed in a nightie.)  I'll be right in, Jane.  Close the door.  Now, sorry to you.  What is your name?

Mildred:  Mildred.  And you're Karen.  I know.  You can't throw all those parties without people hearing about them.

Karen:  We're just having good clean fun.  You seem to be getting uptight about it.

Mildred:  Look, I'm telling you that you can't do that.  Be blunt about it.  That's too loud and we can't stand for it.

Karen:  Speak for yourself.  There's a lot of young people in this building who know how to have fun.  You need to lighten up. This ain't your building.  Nobody died and left you boss.

Mildred:  I'm asking you politely to turn down that music.  Are you going to do it or not?

Karen:  (loud) No!

Mildred:  I'm going to call the landlord's office about it, then.

Karen:  You're out-numbered.  I'm not interfering with your sleep.  Lie down and forget about us.  It's no big deal.  You think you're so important to stand there and tell me that I can't hold my party for my friends? 

Mildred:  Those are no friends, by the way.  Why was she dressed the way she was?  You're the one who better relax in the situation, not I.  When I indicate that you're disturbing the peace, I mean it.  And I mean my peace of mind.  You're disturbing me.  I ought to call the police.

Karen:  Oh, call anybody you want.  You sound like a harrassing witch!  We're not doing anything wrong.  A little sex is fine in life.  Everything is more lenient now.  Where've you been, you old witch?  Even the police don't bother people.  There are too many dangerous people out there.  You're the one who will be bothering them when you call them with a noise complaint.  You old bat!  Go hide in your kitchen where you belong.  Leave us alone!  You're acting like a little loud music is a bad thing.  Stay away from us. You're a thing of the past.  We're now!  Do you understand me?  We're the here-and-now.

Mildred:  I've never been so talked at in all my life.

Karen:  Yes, you have.  Anybody who stands in my hallway like you is hankering to be talked at. 

Mildred:  I know the law.  After ten, you are disturbing the peace.  Your head is all messed up, young lady.  I can see I'm not getting through to  you.  My granddaughter is a sweet young lady.  Have you no manners?  My son lives in San Pedro, you now.  He'd come over here with a rough man, if he ever heard you ranting at me like that.

Karen:  You're a threatening piece of garbage, too.  You're going to call everybody and chase after me.  I don't care.  There are people in the building that would rough you up.  No wonder I've heard stories of old whackos like you being beat up in their apartments and on the streets.  You just don't want to live and let live.  Well, I'm not worried about you abd I never will be.  Call whoever you damn well please!

Mildred:  I can see there's no talking sense into you.  My people worked hard for this city.  You're not the kind of people we want deciding on quality of life.  Our grandchildren are dying in Iraq for the likes of you.  Have you no shame?

Karen:  I just told you, Miss Shame, that you're trying to disrupt the party here.  We work hard for a living, too.  The city of Los Angeles keeps going.  We're not destroying it.  So, let us have our fun.  Back off, dear.  Fade into the background.  We're the new youngbloods of the neighborhood.  Haven't you noticed?

Mildred:  That's too much clouding over the issue with strange language.  Noise is noise.  Music is music.  I go to bed at a godly hour.  You're up all hours of the night.  I am tolerating that.  You can do what you wish, but not so as to bother me.  Those young ones better stay away from my door also.

Karen:  You're taking too much of my time, and I'm not changing anything.  You're being a pest and I command you to stop.

Mildred:  Alright, I have to call the police at 10:01 p.m.  Like I said, I don't like your nasty tongue.

Karen:  Good, call them.  I don't care.

The police arrive at 10:15 p.m. to Karen's music imbued door.

The End.

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The encounter between young and old appears in many guises. We should continue to think about and consider a lasting respect for the aged. Where else are our founts of wisdom?
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