Monday, August 11, 2008


Help me out here because I'm having a crisis of conscience and I'm absolutely torn as to what to do...

In the house next door, upstairs, lives this Indian (Bengali? not sure...) family with various small children, all under the age of 10.

EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL- and I'm not exaggerating- I hear one or more of those kids crying. At first it was annoying and I was like, "Ugh! Can those fucking kids just shut the hell up?" K and I even had a running gag of: "Kids are crying next door? It must be 6 o'clock..."

But a tiny Voice would always say to me what if the mom is beating them? You might want to report it.

I try to ignore that Voice because far be it from me to tell someone how to run their house, and I really don't know the situation before or after the kids start crying. Kids cry for a trillion insignificant reasons. However I can no longer deny that sometimes those cries aren't the annoying, whiny type but rather the OMG I'M IN DISTRESS type.

Again- this is all speculation. I've never seen a bruise or cast on any of these kids, one of which plays with N sometimes. Maybe I watch too much Law & Order: SVU or something; I don't know.

I guess what prompted this post is that on Sunday, around 5:30PM, I hear one of them crying AGAIN. Actually screaming crying. Then I hear the mom yelling and repeatedly hitting the already crying child. Hitting that child in anger. I believe in spanking, I've spanked my kids as punishment in the past, but this did not sit well with me. She was hitting that child in anger, and even though I don't speak her language there was no denying her tone.

She was hitting that child in anger.

A long, long time ago, when Irene and I lived in Hornell with a 2-year-old K, I witnessed my downstairs neighbor physically abusing his wife. She was trying to take off in the car but he jumped into the passenger seat, punched her in the face repeatedly and dragged her back into the house.

I closed my shade and turned off the light- I was PETRIFIED! Never in my life had I witnessed something like that. What if he saw me? What if he comes up here and threatens us- two young women alone in a house at the end of a cul-de-sac with a small child? I've never known fear like that ever, and I grew up in Bed-Stuy in the 80s! I never reported it, and shortly after they moved away and so did we. I've always regretted not saying something and letting my fear take over, and really hope she's okay today wherever she is.

I mean, I like living here in Greenwood and I've stayed under the radar in the two years that I've been renting in this quiet little neighborhood on this quiet little block (crying kids and wigger council aside). But honestly, I don't want to come home one day and see ambulances on my street because I didn't look out for a kid in need.

Do I risk turning this family's life upside down to alleviate my own conscience? People, I'm really at a loss for what to do...

*smooches...praying that the right decision jumps into my lap*
I'd really hate to report them and then be wrong, but I'd really, really hate to be right and not have done anything about it.

And on the flipside- why hasn't anyone else called the authorities? I KNOW I'm not the only one who hears that child screaming every fucking night!