The Phantom of the Opera Singer

Celebration, Florida

(Celebration, Florida, 2012. Has nothing to do with this post.)

On Monday morning, Terry, Rubin and I were woken by the sound of an opera singer warming up her vocal chords in the office, which is just a few short metres from our bedroom. She sang a single, er, “trill”, (OK, not musical, no idea what it’s called: one of those long, warbly notes that you hold on to for a while, going up the scale?)… and then was silent.

Simultaneously, the three of us raised our heads and looked at each other in confusion.

“Did that sound like an opera singer to you?” Terry asked.

“YES. THANK GOD you heard it too,” I replied. “I was scared to mention it, in case it was just me, and you accused me of being crazy again, like you did on Thursday night.”

(On Thursday night, I woke Terry up by shouting the word “TRENDY!” in my sleep. Under questioning (and while I was still asleep), I revealed that I’d been “trying to think of a word to describe my hair.” Obviously I didn’t think too hard before shouting out a word that doesn’t even remotely describe my hair, but look, I was SLEEPING, OK? I was probably dreaming I was someone else. I do that a lot. But anyway: the opera singer!)

We knew the opera singing hadn’t come from either of us, and we couldn’t blame Rubin, either (which is what we normally do when something happens in the house that we can’t explain), because he was right there at our feet, having snuck into the bedroom at some point during the night, and been granted access to the bed by one or the other of us, but probably me. Oh yeah, and also because he’s a dog. And seriously, his singing is terrible.

(Oh, and it wasn’t coming from either of our phones either, because they were also in the room with us. And also not opera singers.)

Nevertheless, the fact remained: an opera singer had sung. All three of us had heard her. And she had sung in our office, which, honestly, was kind of strange, especially when you consider the complete absence of opera singers in our household on any given day.

We were pretty sure the singer had sung from inside the house. The sound had been much louder and clearer than someone shouting in the street, for instance, and I’m able to speak with some authority on this subject, because our house is within walking distance of a pub, and we’re regularly woken from our peaceful, trendy-hair-filled slumbers by the sound of The Others stumbling home and standing shouting – and sometimes fighting – in the street beneath our window. Just last week, in fact, we were treated to a 30-minute show by an Other who came out of the woods and stood shouting angrily into his cellphone, just a stone’s throw from our house. It’s a good job we didn’t actually HAVE any stones to throw, is all I’m saying.(Joking!) (Not!) (No, really, joking: don’t throw stones, kids!)

So, we KNOW what people shouting/singing/fighting in the street sounds like (We also know what someone driving a mini motorcycle up and down said street for five hours solid sounds like, but that’s a whole other story. ), and we knew this wasn’t it.

So WHAT WAS IT?

Um, honestly? I have no idea. None at all.  If I had to guess, I’d say the house has probably been built on the site of an old opera house, which burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances, and now the unlucky prima donnas who once trod its boards are stuck helplessly between this world and the next. I think that’s the most likely explanation, but I watch a LOT of horror movies, so maybe just disregard that. It could also be something to do with Nigel, The International Man Who is Considerably Less Mysterious Than He Used to Be Next Door, who has now been AWOL again for several months. It could be connected to The Voice. Or there COULD be a completely rational explanation. I hope not, though. Rational explanations are always SUCH an anti-climax, aren’t they?

Ah, well, it could be worse. I mean, we could be haunted by the spirit of Justin Beiber or something. That really WOULD be weird. Especially considering he’s not even dead.

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