Title: First Voices
[two distinct voices]
Tyler: Hey, I’m Tyler. I live next door.
Finn: Hi. I’m Finn. I would shake your hand, but—
T: I get it. Um, I wanted to let you know my room flooded last night.
F: A flood? Like water?
T: Yeah. I didn’t see it, but my roommate did.
F: Is there a pipe burst or something?
T: That’s what I think. My roommate isn’t convinced.
F: Well, I’m sure an earthquake like that could burst a pipe.
T: Oh, was that an earthquake?
F: I’m sure.
T: I guess an earthquake could burst a pipe like the ones here.
F: The pipes here?
T: The earthquake here. But I didn’t notice an earthquake.
F: But the earthquake might break a pipe, or at least push up some groundwater.
T: Yeah, but I think the landlord already checked that out and didn't find anything. He was in my room cleaning up last night.
F: Was he there the night before, too?
F: Well, I saw someone out on your balcony last night.
T: That was probably my roommate.
F: Do you think he knows something about the earthquake?
T: Why are you so adamant that there was an earthquake?
F: Because there was. Ground was—
T: (narrating) He holds both hands out next to each other, flat and level before they pneumatic seesaw.
(Note: this gesture may closely resemble the American Sign Language word for "balance".)
T: Okay. To be honest, I wasn’t even here for most of it. And my roommate says there was a flood.
F: Maybe that was the mud. There was mud on the floor near the walls.
T: What time was that?
F: Eight at night or so.
T: I was here just after then. I didn’t see any mud in my room. I didn’t feel any shaking.
F: That’s fine. Glad no one else got hurt.
F: Our takeout spilled, but not sure that has anything to do with anything.
T: You’re sure you don’t know anything about a flood?
F: I know about the mud. The floor still has mud all over.
T: (narrating) I peek behind him and see some mud caked onto the floorboards.
F: But you and your roommate are okay?
T: As okay as we are.
F: Did something else happen?
T: (narrating) He looks at me and his head tilts just a little and his mouth perks up. He’s surprised I’m there all of a sudden or something.
F: Gosh, you’re early. You should know the guy I live with sleepwalks.
T: What does that have to do with anything?
F: I hear Brandon walk down the hall at night. The sound of his steps. Always approaching but never quite sure if he’s approaching me until he stops. I know he’s going somewhere but I might be a goal or just a mile marker. I never know which.
F: Come back later, whenever you need anything. For now, just keep the lights on. Listen for anything weird.
T: Thank you, I guess.
T: (narrating) I think he means Sam.
(The door closes. End of recording.)