I spent a lot of time staring out my window growing up. It’s just another thing dogs and I have in common (overeating, drooling, barking in our sleep). And I was reminded of that last week when a hurricane hit New York.
Granted by the time the hurricane arrived it was more of a tropical storm. But either way, I was pretty mellow until it hit. I kept playing it down about how I wasn’t that worried and it wasn’t going to be a big deal. Nonetheless I picked up some items from the grocery store and settled in for the weekend.
Friday and Saturday brought nothing much but when Sunday morning hit, the winds were blowing like crazy and the trees outside my top floor apartment were swaying and blowing in a way that kept making me worrying about what kind of insurance I had.
The trees kept swaying dramatically. And seeing how my apartment is next to trees that are probably 100 feet tall I suddenly realized…
I have a very good reason to be concerned.
The trees were bending and swaying so severely that I thought I might be a good idea to not sit so close to my window. And that is tough, because my computer is right next to my window. So I just sat on the opposite side of my living room being afraid of what the hell might happen to my window.
But the windows of my life have not typically been a happy entry point.
I remember being in college where I lived on the first floor of my dorm. It was the handicapped dorm (a story for another day) and there was a window that went from floor to ceiling, about 8 feet high.
My bed was against the same wall as the window and the foot of it lined up just with the edge of the window.
Typically I would stay up late downloading songs from whatever service Napster had given birth to and watching MTV because I had never had cable before and I was absolutely stupid with excitement about it.
Most nights I would fall asleep pretty soundly, sometimes waking up to hear people being loud in the hallway as they stumbled in from being drunk at some frat party or other location that served alcohol to freshmen.
I shared a bathroom with a guy who was also the only person in his room and he was a nice enough kid, an artist who I didn’t talk too much and didn’t think much about.
My roommate had a friend that we’ll call Sara. I liked Sara; she seemed interested in my life and had big nice eyes and an easy smile. We’d interact maybe every other week and that’s about it.
Halfway into my stay at this dorm I was sound asleep in my dorm when somebody started banging on my door like they were part of a S.W.A.T. team. I woke up instantly and pulled my NY Yankees comforter around my neck.
I was terrified. Was it the cops? A robber?
If I had time to actually contemplate I would have realized neither of those could possibly have been true, but when its 2:30 in the morning and somebody is continuously banging on your door all you can think about is whether or not you are going to have to wash your sheets the next morning.
I didn’t move from my bed.
The next morning a kid down the hall came up to me and told me he thought he might have knocked on my door late at night because he wanted to hang out.
I didn’t ask him if he might have been completely out of his ever-loving mind. I just said,
Oh I’m not sure I heard it.
In fact, several people had a predilection for banging on different parts of my dorm room. It was as if there was some sort of notice that had gone out that said:
The Freshman in 1D is insecure and extremely paranoid, please take advantage.
Not too long thereafter I was lying in my bed sound asleep when I somebody started banging on my window like a savage looking for a meal.
Now there is a big difference between somebody banging on your door and somebody banging on your window.
If somebody bangs on your door it could be a variety of explanations. It could be people in danger, police, security, fireman etc.
But when somebody bangs on your window all it can be is somebody who is completely out of their mind or somebody who is trying to kill you.
Mind you it is 4 am. And whoever is outside my window is banging on it over and over again. I am terrified. I am clenching my blanket so tightly that there is no blood left in my hands.
The banging stops and my heart slows down, but just barely.
It is hours before I fall back to sleep.
Several days later I run into my roommates friend Sara. She tells me:
Yea we were hanging out pretty late the other night. I took my friend’s aderall and was banging on peoples’ windows. I think I banged on yours. Did you hear it?
I panic and not wanting to make her feel bad… for scaring the shit out of me while on drugs at 4 o’clock in the damn morning, I say:
No I don’t think I heard anything.
Thankfully, those were the only incidences of people expressing high interest in interacting with me late at night. But regardless of whether I am in a dorm or my own apartment, a loud bang or noise in the middle of the night still makes me wonder when I wake up:
Should I change my sheets?