Knock, knock, knock.
I awake with a start and then lie there, waiting, listening intently. Maybe the cats just knocked something over in the other room?
Hum of the refridgerator. Ticking of clock.
Knock, knock, knock.
My eyes fly open as I reach over for the bedside clock. It says: 2:00 am. Who in the hell is knocking on my door in the middle of the night? Is something wrong?! Is someone hurt?! My mind is ablaze with worry and fear.
I grab my sweatshirt off the back of the door as I walk out into the hallway where I meet my groggy housemate and my barking dog.
Mikey: "What the hell?"
Me: "Who the fuck is at our door?"
I go to the front window, the one with no blinds, I see no one on the porch. I flip the light on and peer out the peep hole. Still, no one. I turn back to Mikey, "There is no one even out there." I look again and see someone approaching the front gate. He is wearing a baseball cap and a track suit jacket. He must be cold.
I open the door slightly and stick my head out. "What do you want?" I ask. He responds hesitantly, still staying back at the gate, not entering, "Does River live here?" Annoyed, I say, "No. No one by that name lives here." Him: "Are you sure?" Me: "Uh, YES, I am sure. It is just me and my housemate who is not named River." Him: "He really doesn't live here? Are you sure?" Losing all patience, "No one fucking lives here by that name. It is two in the morning. You shouldn't be knocking on my fucking door." My bad habit of swearing rears its ugly head.
He backs off sort of apologizing and I shut and lock the door. Mikey and I try to calm Angelou and attempt to locate the cats. I see someone approaching the side door as I walk down the hall. I go over to that door and turn on the light. The same guy comes up to the door and starts to speak but I can't hear what he is saying because of the barking. He is pointing at a beat up burgundy two door parked on the street and is asking, "Is that River's car?"
He's a kid. He can't be more than 20. He looks freezing and scared. I lift the curtain from the window and say, "No. I already told you that no one named River lives here. That car belongs to a woman." My exasperation is mixed with a twinge of sympathy. "It looks like his car. Are you sure he doesn't live here?" Ok, exasperation is outweighing the sympathy. "Listen. I told you. No one named River lives here. There is just me and my housemate and the woman who owns that car who lives in the back with her girlfriend." He says, "I am gay too." Like somehow he had found a secret code that would get him the magic information. Like I was suddenly going to say, "Oh you are gay too!? Then River DOES live here."
He proceeds to try to tell me his story, all through a closed and locked door, but all I can make out is "left here . . . waiting . . . freezing . . . phone . . . dead . . ." So his cell is dead and he is stranded. He's young and gay and looks harmless. I offer for him to use my phone. Yes, I am a sucker. Besides, I already know sleep is lost to me. I have a horrible time falling back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night.
He comes around to the front door and I let him use my phone. As he dials the first number off an impossible tiny scrap of paper, he gets the message: disconnected. He tries the other number, which, surprise, surprise, doesn't work either. He fills me in: He met a guy and the guy's dad (supposedly) in the Kinko's parking lot. He left his car there (with the keys locked in it) and they dropped him off in this neighborhood telling him to meet them here. At my house. He was stranded, new to town, his only friend was his housemate who was out of town for the night. He had $10 on him that he hoped would get him a cab ride back to his car. As he called the cab company from my phone, he said, "I got so played. I gave that guy $90 for pot."
How is THAT for a "just say no to drugs" public service announcement?
(I am tired today. So very tired.)
(Does my shirt speak the truth? Why didn't I know there was a stain on it? I really am not a slob. Promise.)
Friday, March 17, 2006
Knock, knock, knock.