Saturday, July 11, 2009


Last Sunday, my life was in deadly peril! Someone broke into my house late at night while I was upstairs. Events did not unfold as I expected them to.

I recently bought a house in downtown Nashville. I bought it knowing full well that the neighborhood was not the best of places to live, but it is one of the few areas the city is dumping money into and they are estimating much improvement and growth over the next few years. I moved banking on that hope. Regardless, I really love my house, if not the condition of the neighborhood. But really, the area is not much worse than the area I grew up in.

I came home late on Sunday after an excellent weekend of visiting friends, fireworks, grilled foods and whitewater rafting (as you already know!). I was upstairs, reading in my office, and so enthralled was I in my book, I had not moved a muscle (except to turn the pages) in about an hour. The house was exceptionally quiet with no sounds coming from outside to disturb the peace. It was then that I picked up the sound of a quiet rustling as if someone was stealthily going through my unpacked bags. And when I say "unpacked", I mean "since moving in" not "since getting home from my weekend trip". Don't judge me! Regardless, someone was in my house, going through my things, and I was not please about it.
I assumed they must have come in the backdoor, which is downstairs and on the opposite side of the house. I'd not have heard them that way if they were careful, and apparently my dog Buckley had not either.

I was frozen in place. I want to say mostly because I didn't want to move and them hear me upstairs through the ceiling, but I was also pretty nervous. I didn't move for several minutes, but I knew I couldn't just stay in my chair for the intruder to see as soon as they came up the steps. Lights off or not, I was very exposed in the middle of the room, silhouetted by the window.
Finally, I decided my move. I grabbed the knife that was on the bookshelf near me and ever so slowly I creeped to the doorway by the steps.

The way my house is designed, if you come up the steps, the wall is on your left, straight ahead is a closet. To the forward-right is my bedroom. To the right, a bathroom and lastly, 180 degrees to the right is the office, the room I was currently in. I crouched at the door, knife in hand, ready to plunge it into the chest, neck, face or WHATEVER I hit when they came up the steps. I sat there for at least 10 minutes, daring not to breathe, clutching the knife in a sweaty-handed death grip while they continued to go through my things.

It was around this time that I noticed the sounds had shifted. Not because the person downstairs was moving about, but because of my new position. My house seems to distort the direction of sound like an office building full of cubicles.
Only then did I realize that this malicious intruder was in my BEDROOM. That's not as scary as it sounds - not like that whole "the call is coming from inside the house" situation - because I also realized it was a plastic bag that I had left in front of a fan that was making the noise.

That explains why my dog was so unconcerned. I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure I saw something in his eyes as he watched me nervously posed at the corner of the stairs, ready to strike. Something unmistakable...


But that plastic bag will think twice before sneaking in.

"though I don't know you, I think that I would do.
I don't fall all"

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