It's a summer evening in Corpus Christi, Texas, and I'm nicely ensconced in my overpriced-but-nice hotel room near Oso Bay, having determined that overpriced as it was, it was still way cheaper than something with a view of the actual ocean, fercryingoutloud. I'm on the third floor, and I'm about to make the first of two pilgrimages to the ice machine when


I stop, wondering what it is I just heard. Doesn't sound like someone falling: too light a blow. Maybe someone knocked over a lamp. And then again:


It's louder this time. I try to determine the direction it came from, with inconclusive results. Then a voice:

"I fucking hate you."

This is not good, I thought, still frozen to the spot. If he's saying anything I'm assuming there's a he involved I can't hear him. Maybe a little bit of buzz, bass resonance from down the hall. And again:

"I fucking hate you."

Followed closely by:

"This is the end. Right now."


Oh, Christ, they're throwing things. Do I pretend I didn't hear a thing, or do I drop down to the office and report an incident of domestic violence?

I decided on the latter, and stepped through the door, trying to get a fix on exactly where the sounds were coming from.

There were no more sounds.

Fearing the worst, I strode up and down the hall, ears cocked for anything that didn't sound like vacationers having a swell time. Nothing. I shrugged, filled up my ice bucket, and went back into my room.

Shortly thereafter, I heard the arrival of the elevator; in less time than I thought it would be possible for someone to climb aboard, it departed.

I sat for a moment, waiting for more sounds. There were none. Maybe she's gone, I thought to myself, and headed out the door to forage for food.

Epilogue: Subsequently I checked the Caller-Times Web site and the Web site of a local TV station for stories that might have been pertinent, but found nothing. And I left this out of my tour report because I was too busy berating myself for not being Batman when a Caped Crusader might have been needed. The likelihood that I'd trip over my own cape did not make me feel any better about it, either.

The Vent

  24 June 2008

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 Copyright © 2008 by Charles G. Hill