I knock twice.
I knock five times, rest, then deploy a prolonged two-handed roll.
The door opens. “Yes!” She’s annoyed; probably the knocking was too enthusiastic.
“Um, yes. Can you turn your TV down please?”
“I can, certainly. Whether I do or don’t is a different issue.”
“Emm, right. So do you think you’ll turn it down?”
“Are you asking me to?”
“Well, yes. I am.”
“I see. In that case it’s not a TV.”
“Do you mean that in the case where I ask you, and only in that case, it’s not a TV? Or is it actually not a TV.”
“The latter, obviously.”
“Obviously. Do you mean that sound is not coming from a TV?”
“Aha. And…do you mind my asking what it’s coming from? I mean, is it coming from a radio, or, or a … portable TV or something?”
“Right. And yet it’s quite loud.”
“That means it’s working. It’s a noise maker.”
“Do you mean perhaps that you use your TV as a noisemaker? Or is it in fact a small box with no picture that makes TV sounds to block out other noise.”
“I should say it’s the latter except that it’s not really very small, considering noise-makers, which tend to be quite small.”
“Do you mind if I see it?”
“No. Follow me.”
Indeed, as noisemakers go, it is huge. It looks like a TV without a screen; exactly like that, actually. And it’s emitting TV sounds, but muffled, heard through a wall.
“My god, so you like that sound, that droning TV-though-the-wall sound?”
“Yes. Well, it relaxes me.”
“Would you mind much leaving now?”
“Oh! Of course not, no. I’ll just… I’ll just be going.”
“Thank you. I’m expecting someone.”
“Of course. Coming over to watch a little TV, is he?”
Glaring. “She. And no, we’ll be going out.”
“A wonderful idea. Do you, emm… Do you think you might turn off your noise maker when you go?”
“I take it you’d like me to.”
“Very much, yes.”
“I should think not, then.”
“I see. You know that’s really quite rude.”
“I think so, anyway.”
“I see. So long as you realize it, then.”
“Emm… right. I’ll just be going, I suppose.”
“Marvelous. I’ll show you out.”
I return to my appartment and notice that the sound is indeed that of a TV through a wall, through a wall, as opposed to just the former.