Tintamarre (a vocab-necdote)

Tintamarre   (n.):   hideous, confused noise; clangor

            Midnight. She’s struggling, dead in the midst of writing a pivotal scene. She desperately needs focus. She’s losing sleep-time, waxing on into the silent night. Her mind’s fighting to stay sharp and attentive. Suddenly, a din erupts outside her window and clangs across the urban concrete. A form of resonant horror that shouldn’t occur this late or this loudly. The startling noise immediately accelerates her bloodflow. Her second thought after “what the fuck?” flashes to “who the fuck?” This ain’t some corner on Boubon Street or some Christmas caroling bullshit. This is boring Portland on a school night.

            Impulsive, she rockets off her chair and strides angrily to the front door, wincing and squeezing her ears. She’s gonna let ’em have it. Boldly, she flings the door open to confront the inconsiderate culprits. The revellers she sees on the otherwise empty street are swaying like they’ve just come out of a pub at the gender-bending vaudeville convention. Men in feathers, tight leather, mascara in the cold, wan moonlight, all gyrating ecstatically. Inexplicable. Each of them is banging obnoxiously on an improvised drum of metal. Not a recognizable song, just a loud, confused cacophony. More hideous than hot cats crying. Why’d they stop right in front of her house? It’s a mystery. Under different conditions, say if she didn’t have to work late, she might have joined the banging orgy of noise.

            Any poise she had evaporates wickedly as she screams at their backs over the din, “Hey assholes, it’s way too fucking late for this tintamarre!”