Moose Calls in Brooklyn



50 7th ave brooklyn ny 11217

Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

When my husband Ted and I bought the parlor floor apartment in a 4-family co-op in Brooklyn, we developed an amicable relationship with Sharon, who lived with her cat in the basement apartment below us.  We  watched as she transformed herself from a 300 lb., caftan-wearing woman, to half that size in a matter of months.  She was shrinking before our eyes. 

Along with the thinner body, came a new sexy attitude we hadn’t noticed before. “Optifast,” she told us one day.  She was beaming.  “That’s how I did it.  But wait until you hear the best part,” she said.  “I’m seeing someone.” 

Not long after, I heard the baritone register of a man’s voice emanating from Sharon’s ordinarily quiet apartment. Then came the sighting.  One spring afternoon, I was puttering around the bedroom, when I heard activity in Sharon’s private yard below.  I looked out the open windows, and there was Sharon, bent over one of her flowerbeds.  A tall, lanky man with glasses, stiff graying hair, and denim jeans rolled up with cuffs, was back there with her, collecting dead branches.  I recognized the booming voice. 

“Where’d you put the garbage bag, Sharon?” he said.

“Over by the patio, Bill.” She pointed with her trowel.  I watched them from the window while they worked.  So this was her mystery man.

The following Saturday morning, I was yanked from my sleep by what sounded like a moose in distress.  I had never heard a moose, let alone one in distress, but being wrenched from my sleep as I was, that was what came to my mind.

“Uhh, huhh, uhh.” 

There it was again. 

“Oh, baby, uhh.” 

Hey, wait a minute.  That’s no moose.  That sounded like—Sharon? I nudged Ted, who was deep into REM, laying on his back, mouth open. “You gotta hear this,” I said.  Right on cue came another, “Uhh, ooh, uhh.” Ted scrunched up his face. “I think it’s Sharon and her boyfriend.”  She had a way of making her voice rise in the middle, that gave it that guttural, beastly quality. 

“I hope he’s not hurting her,”  I said.

“Oohhhh, Bill,” came the response.

We laid there for a good forty minutes until the moaning stopped.  It was the car-wreck phenomenon.  I didn’t want to hear it but I couldn’t stop listening.  Maybe this was what Ted and I were lacking.  I knew male friends who admitted to liking their female partners to talk dirty during sex. Maybe loud moose calls served the same purpose.  I couldn’t imagine trying either with Ted.  Our lovemaking was of the muffled variety.  I never considered becoming a screamer. Was it too late?  Maybe I could start off with some heavy sighs and work my way up to a Tarzan yodel.

The following Sunday morning, I was dreaming I was in a forest with a wild moose chasing me, when I gained consciousness and recognized the now familiar sound. Guess he was an early riser.  I put the pillow over my head and tried to fall back to sleep. 

Weekend mornings became repeat performances.  It was a problem.  Not only had I become an unwilling silent witness to this boisterous morning ritual, but it was putting a damper on my own sex life.  How could we concentrate with that hullabaloo rising up through the floorboards?  My sexuality was being compromised. I couldn’t compete. Weekend mornings had been a time when Ted and I sometimes got things going.  After 8 years, that’s what our 2:00 a.m. midweek lustfests had dwindled down to.  Now I heard myself saying,  “I have to get up early for work.  I need my rest.”  Our downstairs neighbor had a built-in alarm clock for his early morning routine.  Maybe he was like a car that needed jumpstarting.

We tried to ignore the commotion from downstairs and get our own thing going.  Just as things were getting juicy, the bellowing reached new heights.  I tried out-moaning Sharon, but I worried about our other neighbors.

One afternoon, we ran into Sharon and Big Bill. “Hey you guys.  Bill’s moving in with me,” she said.  He shook Ted’s hand.  I stared at the ground. I couldn’t bring myself to look them in the face.  Their love-call sounded in my head. I knew more than I should about anyone I was meeting for the first time.  And Sharon!  Could she really be in that much ecstasy? I think she was faking it.  I wasn’t sold on the whole orgasmic oration. Her calls seemed to be losing some of their earlier gusto.  I pictured her laying on her back reading a paperback oohing and aahing while Bill banged away undeterred.  If she was faking it, couldn’t she tone down a couple of decibels?  Maybe I could bring it up at the next co-op meeting.

Weeks passed. The only noticeable change was that the bouts shortened  to between 10 and 15 minutes.  I longed for the fall and winter months when we would cut down on the noise of the morning mating call by having the windows closed.  I was lying in bed one Sunday morning while Ted was making coffee, talking to my  I-only-want- the-best-for-you, Jewish mother on the phone, when a loud “Ahh, ooh, ahh,” sounded from below.

“What was that?” she asked.

There was no way I was going to explain to my mother about our neighbors’ weekend routine. She would just add it to her list of reasons not to live in Brooklyn. She lived with the hope that I would come to my senses and wind up like my sisters in a house on Long Island.  Or in the country.  Where it’s quiet.  But that would never work for me. I’d miss the call of the wild.

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