With Henry and Chooch off at the store, I thought that I could relax a little, get my nerves to stop buzzing. After posting that last entry about the Valentines, I went upstairs to change into my exercise clothes.
Approximately 1.3 minutes later is when the knocking started.
I’m not talking about some demure rapping from an old lady looking for her lost cat. The knocking I’m talking about here was intense. Urgent.
- It’s too late to be the gas man!
- Wait, we’re not behind on the gas bill.
- OMG it’s the CONSTABLE.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses?
- My blog has finally discovered by Robin and she has her meth herd out front with fiery torches and a battering ram!
I did what I always do in these harrowing cat and mouse situations: I hid on the bedroom floor. The knocking continued, in angry, I’ve-come-to-murder-you spurts. During the few moments of silence, I’d get courageous, pop up a bit and peek through the blinds. Across the street in the church parking lot sat a white Suburban, the headlights of which still shone. I became obsessed with the idea that my knocker’s accomplice was sitting quietly in the dark interior, shuffling a deck of cards and wearing brass knuckles while waiting for the knocker to return with my dead body.
It sounded like the knocker was trying to open my door. And my head was full of expletives as I tried to remember if the door was even locked or not. It was bad enough that EVERY light downstairs was on (green, what?), including the TV, so the knocker knew someone was home and seemed undeterred by the fact that I wasn’t speedily answering the door in a bathtowel.
After a few minutes of this (these situations feel longer when you’re in the thick of it; especially if you’re like me and pretend you’re a diamond thief hiding from the CIA), the knocking ceased and I stole a look just in time to see my neighbor James retreating.
James and his family moved in next door last May. They’re quiet all day long, but come 9pm, it’s like they’re throwing cinder blocks around over there, building something, I don’t know. Probably I’m better off not knowing. And there’s 4 young kids, too, who we rarely see. Alisha is convinced that they’re a family pop group, like The Jackson 5, and only come out when they can rely on the night shadows to cloak them. They have a brand new Mercedes, which they keep parked on the street, even during snow storms, and this ain’t no residential cul-de-sac on which we live. It’s a pretty rockin’ road, with buses and large trucks to boot. They also have a Lexus SVU which they seem to hide in the garage.
The block we live on is not exactly known for luxury vehicles. We’re talking Elantras and Focuses up in here, OK?
They have these flashy cars, yet no furniture on the entire first floor. Henry, who swears he doesn’t spy on them, says they spend all their time upstairs. In fact, I think whoever is on the other side of our bedroom has been cooking in their room lately, and it stinks.
They’re a mystery.
Where was I? Oh, James! I had just spotted James and felt a mixture of relief and also apprehension, because why was James knocking so maniacally? Maybe he was locked out and needed to use my phone. I was still standing at the window, wondering this, when I realized that he had stopped on the sidewalk in front of our house and was staring up into my window. I do love me some creepy.
Ducking, I grabbed my shoes, ran downstairs and out the front door to find James standing idly on his front porch.
“Hey, was that you knocking?” I asked innocently, shoes untied and knees knocking from the burst of cold.
“Yeah, can I borrow your shovel?” he asked, walking across the front yard toward me.
“My what now?” I was confused. I must have misheard him. Probably what he really said was, “Can I borrow your bone marrow?” because who knocks like THAT for a shovel?
Seriously? Had he just murdered someone?
I gave him the shovel and he didn’t even use it right away!
So much for giving my nerves a chance to stop buzzing. Fuck.