Someone knocked on my door. Except for maintenance, no one ever knocks on my door. They certainly don't knock at 11:00 at night, or erratically. I peeked through the peephole. Someone was outside.
Man or woman, black or white, I don't know. They wore a dark brown hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled way over their head, and stood to the side facing away from the peephole. I couldn't see any part of their body. I waited a moment. They didn't turn. They just stood, rocking from side to side, deliberately keeping their face hidden. I heard the crinkle of a plastic grocery back.
I held my breath and glance at the lock. It seemed so fragile and the door so thin. This person stood only a hand's breadth away from me. "The phone," I thought. "Call 911."
"But he will know you are in here," I told myself.
"Go in the other room and call," I replied.
"I don't want to let him out of what sight I have of him," I returned.
The person swaggered a step, as if to say, "fuck her! She won't answer," then crossed the hall to my neighbor's door. She had just moved out the day before, as did the two guys living next to her. The person didn't knock, they just reached out and flipped up the door knocker, then walked off down the hall.
I wanted to open the door and look out, but wouldn't. I listened for the sound of another knock on another door, but didn't hear it. Then, I called 911, feeling slightly foolish, but also not knowing what else to do.
About an hour later, the police showed up. I didn't expect them to do anything much because I didn't have anything to give them beyond the brown hoodie, the grocery bag, and the incidents. I might have also been able to estimate a height. I did expect them to write something down or at least ask my name. Maybe they just log in the incident back in their car?
They did tell me that they had "other reports" of someone knocking on doors on another floor in my building. "Did you ask who it was?" they wanted to know, as if by my asking the guy would have said, "I'm your rapist for the evening!" or "Robbery, ma'm" or even "Land shark."
"I didn't want to let him know I was at home," I said. The "duh!" was implied. The male cop looked disappointed for a second, giving the female cop a look that said, "typical!" He caught himself and said, "o.k., yeah, I can understand that." Then they left.
While I waited for them, I tried to imagine how this person got into the building. Not that entry would be difficult, even with the concierge. I realized that I had foolishly thought of the building as an extension of my home. The predators lived "out there," outside the gates. "How naive I am," I chastised myself. "This person could be someone living in the building!"
I'm not disturbed by this. What's "out there" seemed to have knocked on my door. It was my turn. I didn't do the "nice girl" thing and ask "May I help you?" like I did those near 20 years ago when I was held up. My instincts knew that this was a bad guy, and I responded appropriately.
I feel a little frivolous writing about my own little semi-drama when The Debate will be the big subject today; but what more can I bring to that discussion? I'm a jaded yellow dog, alienated even from the Democrats, who I see as merely keeping the country from becoming completely fascist. Part of me was expecting Palin to babble her way through the exchange; but was glad that her babblings were at least coherent sentence even if they didn't answer the questions and became campaign speeches with the cheapest appeals to "patriotism." She plays a mean Mr. Smith.
I was glad because, although I despise all that she represents, she is a woman, and if she had totally fucked up, then that would ultimately be used as a "see what happens when you send a woman in to do a man's job" moment. Otherwise, I cringed the whole way through.
I fell asleep with the t.v. on, playing the rerun on CNN with the little graphs of Ohio voter interest. In my dream, Palin was speaking to a large group of people. I stood up and yelled to her, "You appeal to families, to this Main Street thing, to people who allegedly want no government spending, as if this is everyone. That's not me. I am single, I work at a public institution that is funded by those government dollars, I do research that requires public repositories and grants. I can name more than one major, wrong Supreme Court case. I see battle fatigued young men and women everyday, and some of them haven't even left the country. Their lives are being wasted. Yes! I said it, WASTED. I see the bullshit of your words, like 'playing politics' and 'gee whiz, I'm an innocent outsider,' while you yourself are playing politics in order to be an insider. I'm not of your party, but if your party wins you will be the vice-president of the country in which I live. How will you protect me? How will you protect those of us who don't fit your description of America?" But, of course, she ignored me, smiled and waved, while the crowd roared and crushed me.