I’ve just finished reading about MrDeadMoth aka Luke Munday. Apparently a 26 year old Telstra employee (possibly ex-employee), with a 21 year old partner and two children ages 3 and 20 months with a third on the way. That’s a handful!
Munday was playing an online game, Fortnite, when he was repeatedly asked to join the family, but in the footage I viewed (now living in the pile of things I wish I could unsee or unhear) it was he who sounded like the little child who didn’t want to do something. I’ve seen toddlers hold it together better.
Sadly it was fellow online gamers watching him disappear from view, hearing the slap of flesh on flesh and the screams of his pregnant partner who had to make the decision whether to get involved.
Munday is on conditional bail for common assault according to news reports, yet other gamers have come out in support of his actions, somehow throwing a flattened cardboard box at him or wanting him to help with the children he helped crate justified his reaction to physically assault this mother in front of her children. You can read about it here.
This made me think long and hard about my neighbours. Over six years I’ve been guilty, at times, to turning a blind eye by turning up the stereo or moving to a room further from the fence line.
Should I get involved?
Would you get involved?
I really want to know.
Over my back fence, there’s a property for young families in crisis and new tenants have just moved in ready for Christmas, but really they could be any of the other tenants we have shared this fence line with.
A young couple with kids. Quite, aside from the sounds of little children playing, squealing under the hose on a hot day, talking to themselves as they jump on a trampoline, the mother coming out to peg clothes on the line, excited screams of “watch me, watch me, watch me, Mummy” and she does, often with a mobile phone in hand.
My cat likes to watch from the bathroom window ledge, she meows until I open it. Once I opened it later in the evening, around 6pm, that’s when the males seem to return to the house. I was still sliding it when a man approached the fence, no sunglasses and his pupils were huge. He screamed “What the fuck do you want?” and before I had time to process that I’d automatically slammed the window shut. This had upset him and he was yelling twice as loud at the woman, the mother of his kids, and I heard the unmistakable sound of flesh hitting flesh.
I called the cops.
He yelled, one cop raised his voice and told the man to go back to his own house. Then it occurred to me the woman probably had the emergency house to escape the domestic violence she’d been raising the kids in that she’d been living in but here it was, it followed her like some foul odour.
I don’t know if the men over that fence work, or sell drugs, but they always seem angry and start yelling. This is when I usually close the window. I sneak into my bathroom, crouching down, think of the opening scenes of M*A*S*H* with the chopper, and I climb into the bathtub, reach up and slide the window shut. Because I’m scared. I’m scared for the woman over the fence but I’m also scared for me. This violence spewing creature is like a pebble in a pond and his intimidation ripples outwards from her home to my home, to the neighbours on the other two sides, presumably to their friends, and families, who knows how far, but for all of us feeling those ripples, he’s still in her house, and she’s still taking it even though the mere fact she’s in this temporary accommodation says she’s tried to separate herself.
I’m watching the clock. It’s 4pm. In another two hours the domestic will start up and the neighbours, some old and hard of hearing, and others jaded by seeing intervention go nowhere will all turn their TVs up a few notches and away it will fade. I’m scared that one day we’ll mill around as a body is removed saying things like, ‘she was so good to her kids, such a good young mum, those poor little mites, hope they don’t end up with him, shame she was involved with him’ and then we’ll get new tenants and start fresh.
But it doesn’t stop in the intimacy of our shared fence line, which offers some kind of privacy – just them and the neighbours. No. I see it out shopping too, full volume and as public as it gets.
The other day I was at the shopping plaza and this guy was laying into his girlfriend viciously, telling her how useless she was, how dumb, how she didn’t deserve him, how she was a useless bitch, how she could disappear and no one would miss her.
That was it for me, the veiled threat.
‘You don’t have to put up with that. I’d report him., I said loud enough to make sure they both heard me. He gave me the stink eye but she, who had been struggling to stop the tears rolling out and showing her hurt was instantly full of rage. ‘Mind ya own business ya dog.’
Once more I was reminded that victims often defend their abuser and left to ponder why ‘dog’ was always the go to insult, even Luke Munday used it.
I quite like dogs.