I have the most comfortable bed on earth. It is like lying on clouds lined with organic cotton wrapped in the sighs of baby cherubs. If love and kindness was made by Serta, this is what it would feel like.
I say all of that not to offer free advertising, but rather to explain just how hard I sleep in said bed. Hard. Like, comatose. Like sleeping myself under the pillow. Like utter and total confusion when I stumble into consciousness.
So there I was, sleeping soundly like the hibernating bear cub I am, only to be kicked into consciousness by what sounds to me, in my Nyquil stupor, like someone at my door. Just that quickly I am sweating, my breath coming out in uneven huffs. My eyes are open wide, the dull ache of them trying to adjust to the darkness becoming a sharp pain in my panic. I fling the covers off, wanting to be unfettered if I have to fight my way out of this room that is the polar opposite of the front door, my escape. The dog, being the worthless bitch she is, is still asleep.
I listen to the adrenaline in my ears; to the silence crackling around me, save for the distinct noises of animals and insects in the dense thicket of trees far too close to my building. I am trying to hold myself still as I possibly can, hoping like hell that what I thought I may have definitely heard is nothing but the many strange, unidentifiable insect war calls that seem to be par for the course at this damn place next to the damn woods that I just had to live in.
I hear no bugs.
I am waiting now, straining to hear the door open or a shift of weight on the carpet on the other side of the bedroom door. I am considering my options. The only weapons in the house are in the kitchen, though I am not above doing some serious damage with my chef’s knife. But I would have to get there. And the kitchen is by the front door. Which would bring me face to face with whoever is standing in my living room waiting to beat me, rob me, and cut off my hair, or whatever. I could try to creep in the darkness to the hallway door, lock it, and effectively barricade myself in the back half of the apartment. But hell, that door is as flimsy as a hooker’s dress. Surely it can be easily kicked down. I grab my Black.berry off the nightstand, my finger hovering over the key to press for an emergency call. I listen.
And hear what sounds like feet on the other side of my door.
I see myself then, trembling, drunk on adrenaline, trying to see into the silence like I’m a fucking sensei or something. And suddenly, I am incensed. This is MY APARTMENT. I LOVE this apartment. I have wanted this FOR A LONG TIME. I WILL NOT be scared shitless in my own apartment. I have a DOG and she is PART GERMAN SHEPHERD. I look at her, peering at me in the darkness all half-sleep looking.
Riding that wave of crazy, I tiptoe into my kitchen, lighter than I have moved since the many moons I used to spend at a ballet barre. I don’t turn on the lights. I know the lay out, all the nooks and crannies of my place. I have home court advantage over whoever is about to break in. I even fool myself into thinking that adrenaline serves as a sort of superhuman night vision. I am a fucking bat, y’all.
I slide a knife out of the drawer, settling it in my grip as I slide down to crouch behind the wall that separates the kitchen and living room. Punk ass dog that she is, Honey is right next to me, burrowing her little fox face into my side.
In the silence, I wait.
After what feels like forever, I hear more shuffled footsteps outside the door. Honey lets out a low growl.
Well, bitch, it’s about time.
Nothing is happening, so I decide to creep to the door and look out of the peephole to determine if I can fight off whoever is about to attack me or if I need to blockade myself in the bedroom and call the police. I should mention though, that this is a bit of a struggle as my peephole is *almost* too tall for me to see out of comfortably.
Balancing in my most precarious relevé, I don’t see anyone. A million different scenarios run through my head; What if they are hiding to either side of the door because they heard me moving on this side? What if I have scared them off with the sheer force of my super secret spy vibrations? I have a CHEF’S KNIFE, BITCH. I am DANGEROUS.
At this point, with silence wrapping around both sides of my front door, I carefully weigh my choices. I know I will never be able to go back to sleep so I have two options; I can open this door and confront whatever might be on the other side of it, or I go watch Real Housewives of DC onDemand.
After a bit of debate, I decide to test my newly-acquired-through-fear-and-osmosis ninja knife skills with whatever might be waiting for me on the other side of my door. In a grand flourish I open my front door, barely even jumping at the sharp slap the heavy door makes when it bangs against the wall, ‘cause I am so gangster right now. I swing my gaze quickly, left to right, my spidey senses tingling.
No one is there
Except an unnaturally large opossum, staring at me with big red eyes the size of brake lights.
I scream, a sharp, piercing scream, louder than I have ever screamed in life. Before my mind can even tell my body to, I'm running backwards, trying to get back inside, but trying to keep an eye on this toddler damn near the size of my torso disguised as a opossum, tripping over the poor dog who is getting trampled underfoot, still screaming, and somehow slamming my own foot in the door in the process. It’s a wonder I don’t stab myself. I get the door closed and securely locked though I am 98% certain I felt the opossum trying to push his way in.
I am breathing hard, sweat dripping off my limbs, my heart tribal dancing in my chest, trembling like I am in my panties in the Arctic. A quick glance over at the clock on my microwave tells me that only 10 minutes have passed between when I was awoken by the terrorist opossum and now.
You have GOT to be kidding me. I have been in fight or flight ninja mode for AT LEAST 5 hours. This is some bullshit. Seriously, the Unidentifiable Flying Insects were one thing, but this? What in the fuck is up with all this NATURE?! What the fuck kinda opossum just strolls up to somebody’s door? And what the fuck chemical wasteland Indian burial ground is this damn complex built on that this woodland ass creature got to be so fucking big?!
This was how the war began.