My roommate and I get along fine. We’re pretty good about sharing food and fridge space, and we even hang out a few times a week. Overall I’d say it’s a friendly dynamic. But it occurred to me the other day that sometimes when my girlfriend comes over and we fire Civil War cannons in my bedroom, there’s a chance he might be able to hear us.

Is that something that would be audible through the wall? Shooting off full-scale, fully functional 19th-century field artillery?

Because last night we were going at it for three or four hours, just blasting those things, and I couldn’t help but wonder if we were bothering my roommate without realizing it. I’d be absolutely mortified to think he was lying awake in bed that whole time, staring up at the ceiling and listening to explosion after explosion.

But you know how it is. Just like any couple, sometimes we get caught up in the heat of the moment when we’re firing our Civil War cannons and forget how loud we are. What with me heaving shells into the muzzle of my bronze carriage-mounted Howitzer, my girlfriend lighting the fuse, and then all that gunpowder detonating in a contained area—it’s a little embarrassing saying this, but it adds up to quite a racket.

Come to think of it, I don’t see how my roommate wouldn’t hear us. We’re talking about a battery of 1860s-era ordnance after all, and the walls at my apartment aren’t exactly thick. I can’t imagine someone wants to hear that going on in the next room while they’re trying to sleep.

But even if he can’t hear the cannon fire, he must at least hear the wheels creaking as we push them across the floor, right? Honestly, I feel kind of sorry for the guy, because when the cannons recoil they often knock into stuff and make a ton of of noise.

On that note, I will admit my girlfriend’s cannon is a bit of a screamer, although I guess both of our munitions can get pretty loud at times.

Of course we try to keep it as low-key as we can. I make sure to shut the blinds so the neighbors can’t see, I crank up some music, and we always limit the festivities to my bedroom—well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes we do fire Civil War cannons in the shower before work, and occasionally I’ll shoot my flintlock musket between volleys if it’s late at night and I’m by myself. Also, there was one night when we came home drunk at like three in the morning and fired the cannons on the living room floor.

I feel sort of bad about that one. I’m pretty sure he could hear the whole thing.

Trouble is, we can’t really fire cannons at her place. Her roommates are all weird, and one of them made a big stink a few weeks ago after noticing a spent powder keg in the bathroom trash can. Big deal, like you’ve never seen one of those before? You’re not even supposed to flush them down the toilet anyway.

I’ve got to say, I’m really looking forward to having my own place one day so my girlfriend and I can blast our cannons as much as we want.

For now, though, I just hope my roommate isn’t too bothered by it. While I don’t think blasting Civil War cannons in the privacy of my own room is something I should have to apologize for, I guess maybe I could make more of an effort to tell him when my girlfriend is coming over so he has some advance notice that we might be firing cannons.

At some point, though, what can I say? We’re human beings. We shoot Civil War cannons. In the end, that’s something you just have to deal with.