I was dressed, had my briefcase in hand and was ready to walk out the door of my apartment. I heard a rising and swelling and eerie sound coming from outside the door. One of those directionless, piercing, annoying, frightening sounds that makes you wonder if someone is hurt, in pain, being attacked or just kidding someone by uttering disturbing sounds for sport. At seven thirty in the morning, it just sounds odd and oddly unnerving.
I opened the door, stepped out and immediately startled a youngish Hispanic woman who was walking by.
“Are you all right? I’m sorry. I…” I began, trying to lock my door and apologize to her at the same time.
“Yes, yes,” she stammered, her eyes softening almost at once when she saw that I was harmless.
“Do you know who that is?” I asked. The wailing continued, louder now that I was outside in the common area.
She looked back over her shoulder, toward the stairwell leading down to the next floor.
“She lost her dog, her puppy, last night. She is…she is very sad.”
“Oh, no! I am so sorry. Is someone with her?” I said, fumbling for anything that didn’t sound either trite or intrusive. I did not know this woman.
“Yes, yes,” she nodded, a small, sad smile on her lips now.
“Good, then, that’s good. I hope things are going to be okay for her,” I said, moving towards the opposite stairwell leading down one flight to my car.
She walked a few steps and turned towards her own apartment door.
The wailing continued, rising up like tendrils of smoky sound, lingering on the air, then floating away. I get gooseflesh thinking about it as I write this. Sad. Moaning. Injured. Plaintive. Wrenching.