There were just three of them, two guys and a girl, dancing around their second-floor flat on a Sunday night. They were so joyous it made my throat ache. They had the window open and their music dropped down to me on the street. The music was like an emergency fire ladder you’re supposed to drop out of your window and climb down while your house is burning up. My parents used to have a ladder like that, and we used to use it to climb up and down the bunk beds. It was way more fun that the real ladder. We once put my cat in a basket tied to a string and lowered her from the top bunk to the bottom and then back up again, down and up, down and up. She didn’t like us too much after that.
The girl stopped dancing and came to the window. She caught me watching. She waved so I waved back, then one of the guys came and yelled: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
Happy birthday I say, but I was too shy to yell it, so I don’t know if he heard.
The girl came back to the window and waved again, so I waved again, and we just stood there waving at each other, these goofy exaggerated waves like we were on a children’s television show and enormous grins pasted to our faces.