Here’s a fun story for you kids: apparently I don’t just have Imaginary Readers.?? I also have Imaginary Intruders.

I was CONVINCED there was an intruder in my house last night.?? Kept hearing weird noises, like someone stepping on a creaky floorboard – heard it in various areas (what sounded like basement stairs, dining room, kitchen, and upstairs staircase, ANd crawlspace in my room – yikes).?? Roommates were both out of town.?? I’m not normally the type to get all scaredy-cat, but I literally almost called the cops like 3 times, and I actually called out “Who’s there?” several times when I heard the noise.?? I also walked the entirety of the house holding a big chunky shoe in one hand and a cell phone in the other. But I realized I’d feel like an ass if I called the cops – what are they going to do, walk through the whole house, say there’s no one, tell me to take some frickin Tylenol PM, and basically think I was senile a few decades too early? Not an option.?? And I thought about calling a friend to come over, but I realized that I don’t have any big intimidating intruder-ass-kicking guy friends who could come make it better (one lives in Olympia, one is off in the military, and one is estranged… read on…)?? Also realized that the one friend I’ve ever had whom I wouldn’t feel crazy calling to come “rescue” me, and who coincidentally would probably actually handle a situation of an actual intruder being present better than anyone else I know, I am no longer friends with – entirely through my own intentional doing, but still, it was kind of a sad realization that my estrangement from him was directly leading to me feeling less safe in that moment.?? So now I’m scared, panicked, lonely, mourning the loss of my friend, tired as fuck, and TOTALLY grossed out because if it’s not a human making these noises, what is it??? It had to be something with enough body weight to make a floorboard creak – because I went over and tested the specific areas where I thought I’d heard a creak – and they needed a lot of pressure to make that kind of creak.?? Like, nothing smaller than a raccoon could have made such a noise.?? So I’m picturing raccoons scurrying around my kitchen (hey, it happens, ask me about the critter stories from my parents’ old shack-in-the-woods house sometime) and sitting on the landing right outside my bathroom door waiting for me to exit the shower.?? And I’m all keeping an eye on the bathroom door so no one/nothing barges in and attacks a la Psyho.?? And then I’m like WHAT THE FUCK… I am SERIOUSLY entertaining all these thoughts??? But, man, that noise was LOUD!?? And I thought about popping over to my neighbors’ house and asking if they’ve seen anything weird… but South Neighbor is the DILF and his family and I couldn’t bring myself to a) look desparate and b) seem ridiculously paranoid and c) act completely irrational in front of him, so that’s a no-go; and then North neighbor is sometimes-nice-sometimes-crotchety lady who is somewhat handicapped and who a) therefore couldn’t be much help, and b) has a son who is easily a Candidate #1 on The Let’s Think Of Who That Intruder-if-that’s-what-it-is Could Possibly Be Show and whose bedroom has a direct view into mine and who has creeped me out since we first move in in that irrational feminine-intuition, gut-feeling-of-badness way, so I wasn’t about to turn there either.?? And then I picture, rather than calling 911, using the business card to call the guy who is my (pencils ready, you may need to take notes here) roommate’s little sister’s boyfriend’s dad who’s a retired cop from our precinct’s still-active buddy in the precinct (got that?), because he’d said we could give him a call about anything… but then, I remember one time I called the number on the card to report the creepy dude who used to camp out in the woods that occupy the space between our backyard and the Burke-Gilman and who would sit there and just alternately watch our house or the trail-goers (he’s Contestant #2 on The…Show, btw) and how a) I couldn’t get ahold of our Buddy McFriendly officer the first time I called that number, and b) how they sent a squad card of other guys who seemed skeptical and unfriendly and generally not that sympathetic, and how c) I didn’t really want those guys thinking I was just Crazy Girl Who Calls Wolf because I need them to take us seriously if we ever have to call again about our Burke Gilman Stalker Buddy; so then I’m thinking that I was smart to delete my resume that had my physical address from my website, but what if some freak off the internet got it before I thought to take it down and came to hunt me down and do unspeakable things to me on a Sunday night after I’d just returned from being out of town, and/or had come to rob our house while no one was in it but then I happened to come home in the process so he was just hiding somewhere waiting to maim me; and THEN I get thinking how my best friend was reading Prince of Tides (partly on MY recommendation; oh the irony) and was totally freaked out about that creepy Callenwald stalker/rapist character, and then I’m thinking “Where can I get a caged tiger at 11PM on a Sunday in the winter during non-carnival-season and also where would I put the cage” and then I realize that I’m completely fucking insane. So I managed to rationalize that it had to be our heater making weird noises that somehow sound like floorboards creaking in various locations.?? Cracked myself up with own paranoia, then abruptly stopped laughing upon hearing another creaky noise because didn’t want intruder to hear my laughter and pinpoint my location.?? Come full circle back to realizing I’m insane.?? Fall asleep SOMEHOW despite all this. Don’t remember any scary nightmares; no signs of torture, rape or abuse upon waking, so….?? must’ve been in my head, that or it was my heater.?? Somehow making floorboards creak on various levels of the house.?? WTF??? SPOOKY!

Please, feel free to post your theories in the “Comments” section.?? Humor to take my mind off this and/or make light of it is much appreciated; actually making me feel more paranoid/scared (unless it’s due to a genuine concern for my well-being and you include a constructive solution or plan of action) is not.?? Thanks!

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